SEOUL, May 22 (UPI) -- South Korea's Mirae Asset Global Investments is filing a countersuit against Anbang Insurance Group in an ongoing dispute involving a takeover of 15 U.S. hotels.
Mirae claimed that it canceled its purchase of the 15 hotels because title insurers refuse to back the deal because of the ownership rows. Mirae argues the title insurers' backing is a "condition precedent" to carrying out the buyout contract.
"Anbang did not let us know about a lawsuit involving the ownership of these hotels, which is the same as a fraud," a Mirae official told UPI News Korea.
"Along the same lines, a total of four title insurers refused to vouch for Anbang's ownership. Hence, we had no choice but to scrap the takeover," the Mirae representative added.
Mirae Asset said that the four insurers are Fidelity National Financial, First American, Old Republic and Steward.
China's Dajia Insurance Group, which has taken over the hotel sale process from Anbang, has recently taken Mirae to court to enforce the contract.
UPI News Korea could not reach Dajia or Anbang for further comment. However, the insurers have reportedly accused Mirae of dropping the deal because of buyer's remorse amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.
In the coming months, the two disputing parties are expected to conduct a pre-trial discovery procedure, which allows both sides to obtain important evidence from each other such as documents or other records.
Mirae said the three-day hearings are scheduled to start Aug. 24. The Delaware Court of Chancery is predicted to make its decision in late August or early September, though it could take even longer.
Last September, Mirae agreed to purchase the 15 premium hotels from Anbang at $5.8 billion, which would have marked South Korea's largest cross-border property deal in history.
Back then, Mirae Asset made a 10 percent deposit, which the firm has already asked an escrow agent to return.
Anbang acquired the collection, which includes the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco and JW Marriott Essex House in New York from Blackstone in 2016.