[THE INVESTOR] Pressed for cash, Hyundai Life Insurance is looking to sell the headquarters building of its sister firm Hyundai Card in Seoul’s financial district of Yeouido, according to industry sources on March 29.
The insurer -- part of Hyundai Motor Group -- recently picked Colliers International Korea as the deal manager to launch the bid as early as this weekend. The deal is valued at about 160 billion won (US$150 million) or 14.2 million won per 3.3 square meters.
The 11-story landmark, established in 1992, is located across from the National Assembly. Hyundai Capital purchased it for 63.7 billion won in 2001 and sold it to Hyundai Life for 131 billion won in 2013. It is now looking to sell building to address liquidity issues.
Compared to other high-rise buildings in central or southern Seoul that are traded at about 25 million won to 30 million won per 3.3 square meters, industry sources say the Hyundai Card HQ is cheaper largely due to the area’s distance from the city center and has a higher vacancy rate.
Hyundai Life has been reporting operating losses since it was established in 2012. The financial burden is expected to deepen as Hyundai Mobis, the second-largest shareholder with 30.2 percent stake, on March 28 decided not to participate in the insurer’s planned capital increase worth about 300 billion won.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com)