Newbridge Capital is looking to sell its controlling stake in Korea First Bank.
“Newbridge Capital has informed KFB today that it is in preliminary discussions with potential buyers,” Korea First Bank, the country’s eight-largest bank, said in a statement.”
Newbridge holds a controlling 48.6 percent stake in Korea First Bank.
The Korea Deposit Insurance Corp., a government agency owns another 48.5%, with the remaining share held by Seoul’s finance ministry.
Names of bidders were not available, although Reuters added HSBC Holdings Plc was involved in those discussions. Local newspapers said the deal could be worth up to $3.3 billion if HSBC acquired stakes owned by Newbridge and the South Korean government in one swoop, which is considered the most likely scenario.
The talks mark HSBC’s third attempt to buy a bank in South Korea and follow Citigroup’s $2.7 billion takeover of KorAm Bank in May.