NU Online News Service, March 27, 2003, 12:47 p.m. EST – Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., has reached a preliminary agreement with Korean financial regulators to acquire a majority stake in Hyundai Investment and Securities Company Ltd. and Hyundai Investment’s investment trust management subsidiary for the equivalent of about $400 million.

The deal does not include Hyundai Investments’ sister company, Hyundai Securities, Prudential says.

Hyundai Investments and Hyundai Securities are both based in Seoul, Korea.

Prudential has signed a “memorandum of understanding” that calls for it to start by acquiring 80% of Hyundai Investment. Prudential would have an option to acquire the remaining 20% in four years.

Hyundai Investment sells investment trust products and brokerage services through a network of 90 branches. The Korean government took it over in the late 1990s, after it suffered from serious financial problems.

Prudential has 12 years of experience in the Korean market. It entered the market by setting up The Prudential Life Insurance Company of Korea Ltd.