Pacific Century Group to buy ING Asian assets for $2.14bn


Hong Kong-based private equity firm Pacific Century Group has agreed to buy a clutch of Asian assets from ING, in line with the Dutch insurance giant’s efforts to return state aid handed to it during the financial crisis.

The insurer will sell its life insurance, general insurance, pension and financial planning units in Hong Kong and Macau and its life insurance operation in Thailand for $2.14bn.

The deal, which is part of ING’s previously announced intention to sell its Asian insurance and investment management activities, follows a recently agreed €1.3bn divestment of the company’s Malaysian insurance activities.

The process for the remaining businesses is on-going, ING said in a statement.

The deal values ING’s Hong Kong, Macau and Thai combined life insurance businesses at 24.3-times estimated 2012 earnings and 1.9-times estimated 2012 book value of €865m, both on an IFRS basis.

ING said it expects the transaction to deliver a net gain of about €1bn.

ING is a top 10 life insurer in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand. The company serves more than 270,000 customers in Hong Kong and Macau through around 400 employees and 1,600 tied agents.

In Thailand it serves over 300,000 customers through about 480 staff and over 4,000 tied agents.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

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