Pacific Century Group agreed to buy the Asian business unit of ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) for $2.14 billion in cash. The purchase agreement includes ING’s life insurance, general insurance, pension, and financial planning units in Hongkong and Macau; and its life insurance business in Thailand.
In a statement, Jan Hommen, CEO of ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING), said, “We are pleased to have found in Pacific Century Group a good home for our customers, employees and agents with the ambition to continue to expand the businesses in these countries. This transaction underscores the steady progress we continue to make in our restructuring.”
ING estimated to gain approximately Eur 1 billion from the transaction. The company said PCG will also benefit in acquiring its businesses in the region. According to ING, the estimated book value of the combined life insurance operations of the company in Hong Kong, Macau, and Thailand is Eur 865 million.
ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) has more than 270,000 customers in Hong Kong and Macau, and approximately 300,000 customers in Thailand.
According to ING, the sale is part of the company’s plan to divest its insurance and investment management operations in Asia. Last week, the company also announced its agreement to sell its Malaysian insurance business to AIA Group Ltd (HKG:1299) for Eur 1.3 billion ($1.7 billion).
Earlier this month, the Dutch company also announced its agreement to sell the ING Direct UK to Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS). Under the agreement, the £10.9 billion (EUR 13.4 billion at current exchange rates) of savings deposits and £5.6 billion of mortgages (EUR 6.9 billion) of ING Direct UK will be transferred to Barclays.
ING’s divestiture of some of its assets is part of the conditions mandated by the Dutch government in providing a $12.9 billion bailout for the company during the financial crisis. The company will use the money raised from selling its businesses to repay the Dutch government.
Pacific Century Group is a private company owned by Richard LI, the chairman of the HKT, the largest telecommunications service provider in Hong Kong. He is a major shareholder in PineBridge Investments, an asset management company in the United States, with $68 billion worth of assets under management.
In May, different accompanies were interestedin acquiring ING’s Asian business unit, including Macquarie Global Infr Total Rtrn Fnd Inc (NYSE:MGU), Principal Financial Group Inc (NYSE:PFG), and United Overseas Bank Ltd. (PINK:UOVEY).