Hana set to pay £2.6bn for stake in Korean bank

HANA Financial Group is set to clinch a deal to buy a 51 per cent stake in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) worth about $4.1bn (£2.6bn), marking a setback for rival suitor Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).

In addition to being a blow to ANZ, Hana’s offer for KEB places a hurdle on South Korea’s $6bn-plus sale of the government’s stake in Woori, as Hana was expected to be a leading bidder in that auction.

The deal by Hana to purchase US private equity firm Lone Star’s 51 per cent stake in South Korea’s fifth-largest bank has seen an auction that began at least four years ago and saw several failed bidders, various advisers and a raid by government prosecutors on Lone Star’s Seoul offices. The firm was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

A deal with KEB – which will likely be announced tomorrow – would mark the biggest private equity auction in Asia this year.