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Korean PE firm Vogo Fund nears Tong Yang Life exit

23 Mar 2012

Korea Life Insurance is looking to place a final bid for a controlling stake in rival insurer Tong Yang Life, the company that South Korean buy-out firm Vogo Fund bought in 2010 for KRW900bn ($798m).

The Korean insurer, which is up against competition from US peer Prudential, will submit its bid amongst other final offers for the business today, a Korea Life Insurance official said on Friday.

Vogo Fund is looking to sell up to 60.7 per cent of the business, a stake that is said to be valued at around KRW989bn ($871m). The firm bought it from three member companies of construction and finance conglomerate Tong Yang in November 2010.

The companies, which held 46.5 per cent of the unit, sold the division in a restructure to cope with debts at its construction arm, Tong Yang Major Corp.

An unnamed Japanese insurer was earlier mooted as a buyer for Tong Yang Life Insurance but the deal failed to materialise.

South Korea’s insurance industry has struggled since the financial crisis, and Tong Yang Life Insurance laid off 20 a month prior to the initial deal.

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