A South Korean financial conglomerate has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Hanmi Bank, ending the troubled institution’s lengthy search for capital.
Woori Finance Holdings Co. Ltd., the third largest banking firm in South Korea, will purchase a minimum of $210 million of Hanmi’s stock at $1.20 a share, with an option to buy an additional $30 million shares, the companies announced late Tuesday.
The deal, which is expected to close later this summer, is subject to approval by U.S. and Korean regulators.
Hanmi, owned by Koreatown’s Hanmi Financial Corp., had been on the hunt for fresh capital for more than six months. The bank received a pair of regulatory enforcement orders in November directing it to raise at least $100 million.
Hanmi engaged a number of potential investors, including Woori and Brazil’s GWI, but talks faltered. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in March, Hanmi said its inability to raise capital “raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”
In addition to Woori’s investment, Hanmi said it will commence a $120 million rights offering.
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