Anbang Insurance Group has still not said whether it will appeal after losing a lawsuit against Mirae Asset Global Investments over the collapse of a $5.8 billion deal to buy 15 hotels, but it appears to have few legal avenues for reversing the decision.
The Chinese company was ordered by the Delaware Chancery Court on January 5 to return $572 million it received from Mirae as a deposit, along with deferred interest of $23.4 million and related litigation expenses incurred during the months-long battle. It has 30 days to file an appeal against the ruling favoring the South Korean firm.
Legal sources said the result could change, but Anbang lacked a strong case.
“If Anbang lodges an appeal, it is going to be just a process to check whether a legal error has been made in connection with the case, rather than checking facts from scratch,” one legal source said. “The result is unlikely to change unless Anbang provides entirely new evidence.”
Anbang filed the lawsuit in April 2020 against Mirae Asset’s four affiliates and MAPS Hotels and Resorts One LLC, a special purpose entity formed to acquire the hotels. It argued that Mirae Asset had failed to perform obligations agreed to under the deal without justifiable reason and asked the court to enforce the deal to buy the hotels.
Mirae Asset countersued Anbang a month later, arguing that the Chinese company was to blame for the collapsed deal as it had failed to meet some necessary conditions to complete the transaction. Mirae alleged that Anbang had intentionally hidden issues regarding ownership of the hotels, which resulted in problems with the issuance of title insurance.
Mirae Asset also suggested that Anbang’s lawyer Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher might have recognized that the insurance company was concealing the critical issues when the two firms signed their contract in 2019.
Delaware Chancery Court ruled in November that Mirae Asset’s decision to terminate the deal was proper in that Anbang had failed to meet contractual conditions.
The interest payments will become a bigger burden if Anbang delays paying the compensation. In accordance with Delaware laws, deferred interest is compounded quarterly (5.25% annually), which means the Chinese insurer has to pay over $30.62 million a year for deferred interest alone.
U.S. law firm Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan and international arbitration firm Peter & Kim provided legal assistance to Mirae Asset. (Reporting by Byung-yoon Kim)