Mirae Asset Financial Group plans to strike back at China’s Anbang Insurance Group, vowing to file a counterclaim with a U.S. court over a collapsed $5.8 billion acquisition deal involving 15 luxury hotels.
Mirae Asset planned to file a suit with the Delaware Court of Chancery against Anbang on May 20, sources said on Monday. The legal action came after the Chinese insurer last month filed a suit with the Delaware court against Mirae Asset for failing to complete payment of $5.8 billion for the takeover of a 15-hotel portfolio in the U.S.
Mirae Asset decided to countersue to call for return of its $580 million deposit it had placed in an escrow account, saying Anbang is to blame for the failed deal as it breached contract obligations. It also seeks damages from Anbang for the time and resources it has put in to buy the 15 hotels.
There is a definite difference between their positions. Mirae Asset claimed the seller failed to meet some necessary conditions to complete the deal. Mirae Asset said four U.S.-based title insurers, including the Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, declined to issue title insurances for the 15 hotels because Anbang had concealed an ongoing lawsuit over its ownership of the hotels.
But Anbang claimed Mirae Asset failed to close its purchase of the hotel portfolio by the deadline without a proper reason.
“The plaintiff and the defendant in the case have such a clear difference between their positions. [Industry insiders] are cautious to predict how the trial will unfold until they see the actual contract,” a legal industry source said.
Four affiliates of Mirae Asset Financial Group – Mirae Asset Global Investments, Mirae Asset Capital, Mirae Asset Daewoo and Mirae Asset Life Insurance – as well as MAPS Hotels and Resorts One LLC, a paper company formed to acquire the hotel portfolio, were sued by Anbang last month. The first trial is set for August 24.
Mirae Asset has hired Peter & Kim, a law firm specializing in international disputes, and Quinn Emanuel, a law firm specializing in lawsuits in the U.S., to respond to the Anbang lawsuit. Korea’s Yulchon and the U.S.-based Greenberg Traurig, which provided Mirae Asset with legal advice regarding the acquisition, also support Mirae Asset.
(Reporting by Byung-yoon Kim)