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ING in Talks With MBK Partners on Korea Life Sale, WSJ Says

A logo sits on display outside an ING Groep NV bank branch in Amsterdam. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
A logo sits on display outside an ING Groep NV bank branch in Amsterdam. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- ING Groep NV is in exclusive talks on selling its Korean life-insurance operations to private-equity fund MBK Partners, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unidentified people familiar with the talks.

MBK offered to buy all of ING Life Insurance Korea for $1.6 billion, the WSJ reported today.

ING, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, agreed less than a month ago to sell its South Korean investment-management business to Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s largest investment bank. ING, located in Amsterdam, said then it still planned to sell the rest of its Asian insurance and investment-management units, including ING Life Insurance Korea.

The Dutch company agreed to sell its global insurance and investment-management operations to win European Union approval for bailouts in 2008 and 2009 and has since disposed of more than 25 assets for at least 20 billion euros ($26.6 billion). MBK is based in Seoul and has more than $6.3 billion under management, according to its website.

Raymond Vermeulen, an Amsterdam-based spokesman for ING, declined to comment on the divestment of ING Life Insurance Korea in a text message.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Pals in Amsterdam at fpals@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Foxwell at sfoxwell@bloomberg.net

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