Lone Star pulls out of KEB sale to Kookmin

Bankers call it a "fiasco" and say Korea's image among foreign investors has been damaged. But why has the $7.4 billion sale been aborted, and what happens next?

ôThe Kookmin-KEB deal will close, probably early next year,ö was the prediction of one well-connected Korean banker that FinanceAsia recently spoke to in Seoul. ôBut if the deal falls apart, it will be a fiasco.ö

Well, fiasco it has become. Yesterday evening, Lone Star announced that it was pulling out of the sale of KEB to Kookmin û KoreaÆs largest bank. The move was not entirely surprising, given the deal had become emotive and highly politicised.

The deal in...

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