MDK Only Bidder for Korea Exchange Bank Stake

(Reuters) – Private equity fund MBK Partners is the sole bidder submitted a letter of intent to buy a $4 billion controlling stake in Korea Exchange Bank (004940.KS), Yonhap news agency said on Monday.

Other potential bidders, including Australia’s ANZ Banking Group (ANZ.AX) and Asia-focused British bank Standard Chartered (STAN.L)(2888.HK), did not submit proposals as they had failed to make progress after offering less than 4 trillion won ($3.3 billion), the report quoted an unnamed industry source as saying.

MBK Partners has been in talks for a joint bid with Japan‘s Nomura Holdings (8604.T) for a 51-percent stake in KEB offered by U.S. private equity fund Lone Star [LS.UL], sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters this month.

But the sale of foreign exchange-focused KEB showed slow progress so far, as local bidders eyed a rival offer of a 57 percent stake in Woori Finance Holdings (053000.KS) to be sold by the government.

MBK was not immediately available for comment on whether it had submitted a letter of intent for KEB.

The private equity fund will be briefed about the sale by Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX), which is advising Lone Star, before deciding to offer binding takeover proposal, the report said. (Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Chris Lewis)