Korea Woori Ponders Putting Money in Blackstone


South Korea's Woori Finance is considering investing in a Blackstone Group private equity fund at the U.S. group's request, a Woori spokesman said on Thursday.

According to the Maeil Business Newspaper report, Woori Finance's banking and brokerage units were seeking to invest a total of $300 million in the Blackstone fund, which is set to invest in North America, Europe and other regions.

"Blackstone previously asked for investment but we have put this matter on hold," said the spokesman. "It will still take months to make a decision to invest or not, and any investment could be made only next year."

Maeil said, citing regulator and industry sources, that Woori was also seeking to sign a partnership deal with Blackstone, hoping the U.S. private equity firm could be an ally in its future acquisition deals.

Woori Finance, 73 percent owned by the South Korean government, runs the country's No. 2 lender Woori Bank and brokerage Woori Investmenmt & Securities.