Several parties have submitted bids for the majority stake of Kumho Industrial, the holding company of Kumho Asiana Group.
According to Korean media, there is new interest in purchasing the 57.4% stake of Kumho Industrial because ownership of the company has stated that the price would include management rights to several of Kumho’s affiliates. The company owns 30% of Asiana Airlines, and 100% of Kumho Terminal, Asiana Airport Development and Asiana IDT, among others.
Hoban Construction, IBK Securities-Keistone Partners (or IBK Fund), Jabez Partners, MBK Partners and IMM all submitted letters of intent to purchase the company’s majority shares.
Shinsegae Group, which operates a supermarket chain and department store in Korea, also submitted a bid that it later revoked. The company submitted the offer as a defensive move to prevent its competition from forcing it out of its current locations owned by Kumho Terminal, media reported.
Under a previous deal, investors promised Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo first option to purchase the shares. Sam-koo and his son Park Se-chang, who is vice president of Kumho Tire, already have a 10.15% stake in Kumho Industrial, so the family can secure management control by acquiring an additional 40%.
“I will let matters run their course,” Park told media. “I will do what I can in order to have people around me not worry about this.”
According to rumors, Park could team up with Military Mutual Aid Association to purchase the shares of Kumho Industrial. When Kumho Tire was for sale in 2003, the military association purchased a 70% of the company and later sold 32.14% to Park.
Kumho Asiana is reported to say it will secure the stake up for sale in order to better manage the entire Kumho group.
KDB and Credit Suisse are in charge of the sale of Kumho Industrial. The banks will evaluate the letters of intent to purchase and draw up a short list of contenders. A buyer could be selected by summer.