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THE INVESTOR
January 29, 2020
Big Reunion

Deals

Deadline extended for Asiana Airlines stake transfer

  • PUBLISHED :December 12, 2019 - 15:13
  • UPDATED :December 12, 2019 - 15:13
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The deadline for the stake transfer of South Korea’s second-largest air carrier, Asiana Airlines, has been extended to the fourth week of December, according to industry sources Dec. 12.

The preferred bidder, a consortium comprising Hyundai Development Co. and Mirae Asset Daewoo, fell short of acquiring a 31.05 percent stake in Asiana Airlines from Kumho Asiana Group within a month, after Kumho gave the HDC-led consortium the exclusive rights to negotiate Nov. 12.

Over the past month, Kumho and the HDC-led consortium locked horns over the pricing of the existing shares owned by Kumho as well as an alleged breach of fair business practices by Kumho. 

Related:
HDC-led consortium close to controlling Asiana Airlines

The HDC-led consortium insisted it cannot pay a control premium for the acquisition, valuing the shares at a combined 320 billion won ($269.6 million) and disputing Kumho’s 400 billion won valuation. Kumho conceded. 

In the meantime, the prospective acquirer demanded that Kumho accept a 10 percent post-closing purchase price adjustment -- meaning the purchase price might be cut by that amount. The HDC consortium cited the possibility of having to pay a fine on the orders of Korea’s Fair Trade Commission. Kumho was accused of abruptly cutting business ties with an in-flight meal supplier after the supplier refused to invest 160 billion won in Kumho Holdings’ bond warrants.

If the two parties had closed a deal, the HDC-led consortium would have proceeded to buy newly issued shares of Asiana Airlines and become the controlling shareholder.

The HDC-led consortium is expected to become the operator of Asiana Airlines and subsidiaries including Asiana IDT and Air Busan.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)

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