A new player has reportedly joined the race to acquire the controlling stake in Kumho Tire, and could possibly be the strongest contender.
The Chinese state-owned aerospace and automotive firm Shanghai Aerospace Industry Co. (SAIC) reportedly placed the highest bid to acquire 42% stake in Kumho Tire in late November, Korean media reports. The amount bid on Kumho has not been disclosed, but the stake could sell for a reported $855.80 million.
Additionally, Korean media has reported four other companies are in the final consideration for the acquisition: Apollo Tyres, Linglong Group, Qingdao Doublestar, and Jiangsu GPRO Group.
Reuters reported in November that 10 different parties were interested in purchasing the controlling stake of Kumho Tire Co. Interested parties were not named, but previous rumors had several major tire manufacturers named as possible buyers – rumored to include Bridgestone Corp., Continental AG, Michelin and ChemChina.
Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo has right of first refusal to repurchase the Kumho Tire stake, which allows him to match the highest bidder’s price and terms to reacquire Kumho. According to Korean media, it’s not likely Park will have enough funds to make the purchase.
If SAIC acquires the Kumho Tire stake, it is expected to expand its tire business by creating synergy with Shanghai Aerospace Automobile Electromechanical, in which SAIC owns 28.3 percent stake, industry watchers say.
A group of creditor banks, including Korea Development Bank, started taking bids for their 42% stake in Kumho Tire in September. The final bidding round to acquire $42% of Kumho Tire is expected to take place January 2017.