News In Brief
After failing in March to buy US insurance giant Aetna, the Dutch financial group ING is in talks to buy only a part of the company - its profitable financial-services and international divisions. CNBC, the cable-TV business network, reported ING could pay as much as $9 billion for the units. Together with a smaller US partner, ING offered $10 billion for all of Aetna in March. If the current negotiations materialize into a transaction, Aetna would be able to focus on fixing its troubled managed-care business.
One of the proudest but most financially troubled businesses in South Korea was engulfed in a major drama as the founding family of Hyundai Group said it would sell more than $3 billion worth of assets and turn over control to professional managers, effective immediately. But the move was complicated by Chung Mong-ku, chairman of its automaking division, who defied the wishes of his father, Chung Ju-yung, and announced he wouldn't step down. The younger Chung said he had not been consulted in advance and had a vote of confidence from Hyundai Motor Co.'s board of directors. Hyundai Group, the country's largest conglomerate, plans to reduce from 59 companies to 21 by the end of the year.
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