SEOUL, March 13 (Korea Bizwire) – The chief of logistics conglomerate Kumho Asiana Group claimed on Monday that creditors of the group’s tire-making affiliate should allow him to set up a consortium to buy Kumho Tire Co. back.
Kumho Tire was placed under a creditor-led workout program in 2009, after its parent company Kumho Asiana was hit hard by a liquidity crunch from the takeover of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co.
At that time, Park Sam-koo, chairman of Kumho Asiana, was given a priority option to buy back the country’s No. 2 tiremaker if the creditors of Kumho Tire, led by the state-run Korea Development Bank, decide to sell the company.
Last week, the creditors agreed to sell their combined 42.1-percent share in Kumho Tire to Chinese tiremaker Qingdao Doublestar Co. for 955 billion won (US$833 million).
Earlier in the day, the Kumho Tire creditors signed a share purchase agreement with Doublestar.
Park has recently set up a special purpose company to buy back Kumho Tire, but the KDB-led creditors have said that the takeover should not be made through a consortium.
Park has a month to make a decision after getting the related notice from the creditors and has to offer more than Qingdao Doulestar’s bidding price to take the affiliate back.
“If the creditors do not allow (a consortium), we will not exercise the right to buy back (Kumho Tire),” Yoon Byong-chul, Kumho Asiana’s chief financial officer, said in a press conference.
Kumho Tire was trading at 8,750 won on the Seoul bourse as of 1:45 p.m., up 6.45 percent from the previous session’s close.