The Korea Herald


Shinhan Life OKs merger with ex-ING's Korean arm

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Dec. 24, 2020 - 14:15

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Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung (Shinhan Financial Group) Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung (Shinhan Financial Group)
Shinhan Financial Group has approved a merger of its two wholly-owned life insurer subsidiaries -- Shinhan Life Insurance and Orange Life Insurance -- into a single entity next year, filings showed Thursday.

As a result of the move, Orange Life, formerly the Korean arm of Amsterdam-based ING Group, will be merged into Shinhan Life. The two firms’ combined valuation exceeded 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), according to the filings.

Orange Life‘s 82 million shares will be converted into 75.7 million new shares of Shinhan Life, which will all be owned by Shinhan Financial. This will increase Shinhan Life’s total shares to 115.7 million and add 378.3 billion won equity capital, disclosures showed.

Following the merger, Shinhan Life is expected to become the fourth-largest life insurer in Korea by total assets. Shinhan Life and Orange Life‘s combined assets amounted to some 69 trillion won as of September.

Shinhan Financial plans to complete the merger by July 2021, and the plan is subject to change depending on regulatory approval procedures.

The news came after Shinhan Financial announced plans to merge the two insurer arms in March, following Shinhan Financial’s Orange Life takeover from minority shareholders in January.

Shinhan Financial bought the controlling stake in Orange Life from MBK Partners in February 2019, just over five years after ING Group handed over its control of the insurer to the private equity firm. Orange Life rebranded itself in September 2018 from ING Life Insurance Korea.

By Son Ji-hyoung (