AIG Deal for Hyundai Units Set to Proceed

August 23, 2001

After months of delays, an investment consortium led by American International Group and merchant bank WL Ross & Co. announced agreement with Hyundai and the Korean government to take over three of the Group’s financial units in a deal estimated to involve over $1.5 billion.

The long expected announcement comes almost a year after the final “memorandum of understanding” was signed by AIG, Hyundai and the Korean government. The main cause of the delay has been the government’s refusal to put public money into the deal to shore up the basically bankrupt Hyundai investment funds. AIG, Ross, and other consortium partners, including Calpers, GE Capital and Aegon, have refused to move ahead without this commitment.

Under the plan the AIG consortium would invest over a trillion won, around $850 million, in two Hyundai investments funds and its brokerage unit, and the Korean government will invest 900 billion won ($700 million) exclusively in the investment funds.

While the two funds are receiving more money, the acquisition of a 29.4 percent stake in the brokerage firm, Hyundai Securities (at a 30 percent discount off the current share price) establishes the AIG consortium as one of the largest shareholders in a publicly traded company, and makes it a major player in the South Korean financial sector.

Together the three Hyundai units will give AIG access to over 200 branch offices in Korea, through which it anticipates to increase its market share on the sales of insurance and financial service products.

Plans call for a formal agreement to be concluded by the end of October.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.