(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s biggest banks Kasikornbank Pcl and SCB X Pcl are among the final bidders for consumer lender Home Credit’s business in Vietnam, according to people familiar with the matter.
KB Kookmin Bank, a unit of South Korea’s KB Financial Group Inc., has also proceeded into the next round, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A deal could value the assets at about $700 million, the people said.
Home Credit aims to identify a buyer for its Vietnamese business before the end of this year, the people said. Considerations are ongoing and the bidders could decide against proceeding with offers, while Home Credit could also keep the assets for longer, they added.
A potential divestment in Vietnam is part of Home Credit’s efforts in streamlining its operations as its owner PPF Group NV — controlled by late Czech billionaire Petr Kellner’s family — is shifting investment focus back to Europe. The company has been reviewing its businesses in Asia after it aborted a $1.5 billion Hong Kong initial public offering in 2019.
Earlier this year, Home Credit sold its units in Indonesia and the Philippines to Bank of Ayudhya Pcl, a Thai arm of Japanese banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. Reuters in August reported that KBank was in talks to buy Home Credit Vietnam.
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Founded in 1997, Home Credit has operations in countries across Asia, central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Kellner’s PPF Group is a holding company with interests spanning finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, media and biotechnology. He was 56 when he died in a helicopter crash in 2021.
A representative for Kasikornbank declined to comment and referred to an August filing which said the lender continuously seeks various opportunities in Vietnam which may or may not result in a deal. A representative for PPF Group declined to comment, while representatives for KB Kookmin Bank and SCB X didn’t respond to requests for comment.
--With assistance from Shinhye Kang, Anuchit Nguyen and Peter Laca.
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