[THE INVESTOR] Three Chinese firms have submitted final bids to buy a controlling 42.1 percent stake in South Korean tire maker Kumho Tire, according to local media reports on Jan 12.
The bidders included Shanghai Aerospace Industry Corp., Jiangsu GPRO Group and Qingdao Doublestar. Two other firms Indian tire maker Apollo Tyre and Linglong Group, that were shortlisted as preliminary bidders in November, did not participate in the sale.
The creditors, after reviewing the submissions will announce the preferred bidder for the sale on Jan. 13.
Kumho Asiana Chairman Park Sam-koo will be notified of the offer, as he has the right of first refusal in the sell-off that allows him to repurchase the stake under the same terms as the highest bidder.
If Park decides to buy the firm back, he has 45 days to submit a financing plan and make a down payment to the creditors.
The exact price is not yet known, but the chairman is firm on taking over the company that was put under the control of creditors in 2009 due to a liquidity crisis.
“Above all things, this year’s final task is to complete rebuilding the group through acquiring Kumho Tire,” Park said during his annual New Year’s speech on Jan. 2.
According to industry sources, the final bidding price is expected to exceed 1 trillion won (US$845.21 billion), similar to what SAIC offered in the initial round last November.
“When observing the preliminary round, it is likely that these firms will bid more than 1 trillion won in the final round,” an industry watcher said. “We will have to see whether Park can raise funds to match the amount.”
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)