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HK tycoon Richard Li returns to insurance with $2.6b ING deal

Published on Oct 19, 2012 8:28 PM

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong businessman Richard Li, the younger son of Asia's richest man Li Ka Shing, is buying ING's Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance units for US$2.14 billion (S$2.61 billion) in cash, bringing the Dutch financial services company a step closer to paying off its state bailout.

Mr Richard Li's bid, through unlisted Pacific Century Group, marks his return to an industry he exited in 2007 and would help expand his business empire, which is now made up of telecoms, media and funds management.

He is paying 24.3 times estimated 2012 earnings for the three units. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, according to a statement from ING.

"What we really want to do is to expand the business regionally," Mr Li, 45, said on Friday.

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