Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Yuanta Core Pacific withdraws bid for LG Investment

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Yuanta Core Pacific Securities Co (元大京華證券), Taiwan's largest brokerage, said it has withdrawn its bid for LG Investment and Securities Co, leaving Woori Finance Holdings Co as the sole bidder for South Korea's second-largest brokerage.

Korea Development Bank, which is in charge of LG Investment's sale, ended talks with Yuanta after failing to agree on a price, the Seoul-based bank said in a statement.

"The withdrawal is due to both parties failing over the narrow differences on the details of the transaction," Lawrence Lee (李雅彬), a spokesman for Yuanta, said in a telephone interview.

Lee declined to comment on whether the main difference was pricing and declined to be specific on the differences.

Woori Finance, South Korea's third-largest financial service company, and Yuanta were in May chosen as the preferred bidders to buy LG Card Co's 21 percent stake in LG Investment, which is worth 174 billion won (US$149 million) based on its market price.

Yuanta Core Pacific, the biggest shareholder in Singapore's Kim Eng Holdings Ltd, is still interested in expanding into South Korea, Lee said.

Woori Finance is evaluating LG Investment's assets after it signed a contract with LG Card early this month to make a final bid to buy the LG Investment stake, Seoul-based Woori said on July 7.

Korea Development and other creditors of LG Card want to use proceeds from the stake sale to bail out LG Card.

Yuanta Core Pacific said last month that it may take over a financial holding company, giving it a license to lend, sell insurance, manage assets and bid for other financial institutions.

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