Nomura and MBK Partners discuss KEB bid

Parties in early talks for joint bid for KEB even as ANZ showed interest.

Nomura Holdings is in talks to join private equity firm MBK Partners in its pursuit of the $3.5 billion Korea Exchange Bank stake up for sale, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Sources said the discussions were in their early stages and no decision had been made. Joining forces with MBK was only one of several options being considered by Nomura, a source said.

Nomura declined to comment. MBK was not immediately available for comment.

Should Nomura pursue a joint bid, however, it would be a bold move by Japan's top brokerage and a major development in the KEB auction process that has otherwise gotten off to a slow start.

The sources declined to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

U.S. private equity firm Lone Star is, for a third time, auctioning its 51 percent stake in KEB. The auction has yet to produce a public offer, but some parties, including Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, have expressed interest.

View the full story in Reuters.

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