U.S. private equity fund Lone Star is in talks with several strategic investors to sell Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), Lone Star chairman John Grayken said in an interview with a local newspaper on Monday.
The fund may sell a remaining 51 percent stake in KEB even before a court ruling on its 2003 purchase of the South Korean lender, Grayken said in an e-mail to Maeil Business Newspaper. Maeil did not provide his quotes in English.
Lone Star sold on Friday a 13.6 percent stake in KEB and two South Korean firms for a total of $2.3 billion.
The fund scrapped a $7.3 billion deal last year to sell KEB to Kookmin Bank amid a legal dispute with regulators over its $1.2 billion purchase of a majority of KEB in 2003.
Further delays in a sale could hurt KEB's growth and may lead to a higher price tag, Grayken said.
He declined to name potential bidders with whom Lone Star was talking. When asked about Kookmin, Hana Financial Group and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, Grayken said they can all make a strong strategic investor.