SEOUL Three private equity firms are bidding for General Electric's (GE.N) 43 percent stake in its South Korean credit card joint venture, Hyundai Card, in a deal that may be worth more than 600 billion won ($537 million), Invest Chosun reported on Tuesday.
Hong Kong-based private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners and PAG are among the three bidders and GE Capital plans to complete the stake sale by year-end, the report said, citing investment banking sources. It said GE has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to manage the deal.
GE is planning to divest stakes in its two South Korean businesses it partners with Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) - Hyundai Card and Hyundai Capital, as the U.S. conglomerate continues to trim its exposure to the financial services sector.
A Hyundai Card spokesman was not available for comment. A public relations representative in Seoul for Affinity declined to comment.
In December, GE agreed to sell a 23.3 percent stake in Hyundai Capital, an auto-financing firm for 703 billion won. GE seeks to sell out of a remaining 20 percent stake in the unlisted lender to a third party.
($1 = 1,117.3400 won)
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)