Back To Top

KDB makes 4th attempt to sell off insurance unit

Korea Development Bank said Monday that it has begun the sale procedure for KDB Life Insurance, aiming to select a preferred bidder within the year and complete the sale by early next year.

This marks the fourth attempt for the state-run bank to put its insurance unit on the market in a midterm restructuring move.

KDB put up the public notice of sale on Monday, selecting Credit Suisse and Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers as deal supervisors and Lee & Ko as the legal adviser.

Performing the due diligence of the deal will be Milliman, a global actuarial consulting firm that has been involved in many major insurer mergers and acquisitions here, including Shinhan Financial Group’s acquisition of Orange Life Insurance.

KDB will be receiving letters of intent and draw up a short list in November, seeking to select a preferred bidder and sign a memorandum of understanding within the year and ultimately to conclude the sale by early next year, officials said.

“This time, (KDB) will also be selling the 8.8 million units of ordinary shares in KDB Life Insurance and handing over the management rights, so we expect active participation from strategic investors here and abroad,” KDB said in a press release.

The state-run bank acquired the insurance unit -- formerly Kumho Life Insurance -- in March 2010 while realigning the financially pressed Kumho Group. Since then, there have been three attempts for sale but all have fallen through, mostly due to lower-than-expected bids.

Despite the low-interest rate trend and stalled insurance market situations, KDB Life marked a rebound in 2018 and remained in the black throughout this year. Global credit agency Moody’s affirmed the company’s rating at Baa2 (stable) in May this year.

By Bae Hyun-jung (