Korea's leading credit card issuer LG Card is at the center of a bidding war as three domestic groups vie for a controlling stake in a deal that could be worth up to $5 billion.
South Korean financial services companies Shinhan Finanical, Hana Financial and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation have submitted formal bids to buy a majority share in LG Card, according to lead creditor Korea Development Bank (KDB). The KDB said that it will pick a preferred bidder after an evaluation.
Fourteen creditors holding 82% of the credit card issuer, which has ten million customers, are offering a stake of between 51% and 72%. Creditors bailed out LG Card after a credit card-backed bubble burst in 2002. The buyer of the stake will have to offer to buy shares from LG Card’s minority shareholders on the market, regulators recently ruled.