Standard Chartered to sell Hong Kong consumer business to Pepper-linked consortium

By Reuters

Dec 16, 2014 02:15 AM EST

Standard Chartered (STAN.L) has agreed to sell its Hong Kong-based consumer finance business to a consortium that includes Pepper Australia Pty Ltd and a Chinese group, in a deal estimated between $600 million to $700 million, two people with knowledge of the deal said.

The deal, which is expected to be announced later on Tuesday, comes after the UK-listed bank had entered into advanced talks with Pepper in September, Reuters had reported earlier.

The people declined to be identified because the deal is not public.

Officials from Standard Chartered and Pepper could not be immediately reached for comment.

The sale of the Hong Kong consumer finance unit, called PrimeCredit, is among the initial few divestments being pursued by Standard Chartered as it tries to address share price underperformance and difficulties in markets such as South Korea.

Pepper is a specialty mortgage lender, third-party loan servicer and an asset manager, with businesses in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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