‘Anbang is involved in a lawsuit with a third party about its hotel ownership’
South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments has struck back at China’s Anbang Insurance Group, vowing to file a counterclaim with a U.S. court about a collapsed $5.8 billion hotel deal.
Toward that end, the Seoul-based asset manager said on May 11 that it had designated top-tier law firms like Peter & Kim, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Greenberg Taurig, and Yulchon as its counsels.
A consortium led by Mirae Asset agreed to purchase a portfolio of 15 U.S. luxury hotels from Anbang last September at $5.8 billion, placing a 10-percent deposit.
But the two sides failed to close the deal by the deadline of April 17, which prompted the seller to lodge a lawsuit with a Delaware court with the aim of enforcing the agreement.
Mirae Asset, South Korea’s leading asset management company, clearly said that Anbang, the beleaguered financial group headquartered in Beijing, should be blamed for the failed deal.
“Under the contract, Anbang was obliged to secure title insurance protection before April 17. It was a condition precedent, but Anbang failed to keep it because of a lawsuit (with a third party) about its hotel ownership,” a Mirae Asset official said.
“Anbang did not notify Mirae Asset of the lawsuit. Anbang acknowledged it only after Mirae Asset found its existence. As Anbang could not secure title insurance protection, we sent a default notice on April 17. And because Anbang could not address the problem within 15 days, we canceled the contract on May 3.”
The Mirae Asset official said that a total of four underwriters refused to offer comprehensive title insurance to the 15 hotels. They are Fidelity National Financial, First American, Old Republic, and Steward.
He added that the deal was properly scrapped, and the deposit should be returned.
By contrast, Anbang has argued that it satisfied all conditions of the sales, thus blaming Mirae Asset for cancellation of the takeover.
Established in 2019, Peter & Kim is an international arbitration firm, which is based in Switzerland, South Korea, Australia and Singapore.
Quinn Emanuel is a global white-shoe law firm, which has consistently ranked among the top players in various surveys.