Goldman eyes Korea’s Hana Bank

The global investment bank’s private equity arm is reported to be planning a major strategic move into South Korea.

GS Capital Partners (GSCP), the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs, is reported to be planning a $550 million (€461 million) investment into Hana Financial Group, the holding company of South Korea’s Hana Bank. According to a report in Dow Jones, the deal would see GSCP take a 9.5 percent stake. 

Hana Bank is South Korea’s fourth-largest lender in terms of assets under management. The holding company into which GSCP would invest includes Daehan Investment & Securities Co and eight other affiliated businesses.

As part of the deal, Hana Bank would convert its shares into the holding company’s shares at the exchange rate of one Hana Bank share to one holding company share. Hana Bank would then be delisted from the Korean Stock Exchange in December when the holding company lists its shares on the market.

The holding company would be expected to expand into new areas such as private banking and asset management services. Hana’s core banking services have been put under pressure by fierce price competition among local lenders and foreign financial institutions.

Hana Bank has recently been linked with possible takeover moves for both Korea Exchange Bank, which is due to be sold by US private equity firm Lone Star Funds next month, and LG Card, Korea’s second-largest credit card issuer.