Kumho Asiana Group’s chairman desperate to buy Khumho’s tyre unit.
Park Sam-koo, chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, looks desperate to buy back the group’s tyre unit, a key missing piece of Korea’s former eighth-largest family-controlled conglomerate, according to industry analysts Tuesday. However, he is expected to face a bumpy road ahead as he is short of money after already spending tens of billions of won to take back control of Kumho Industrial and increase his shares in other group units. In addition, global tyre makers and private equity funds are reportedly showing interest in acquiring Kumho Tyre.
Woori Bank, Korea Development Bank and other creditors, which hold a combined 42.1 % stake in Korea’s second-largest tyre maker, issued a sales notice on Tuesday, sending request for proposal (RFP) letters to nearly two dozen entities. After receiving letters of intent, the creditors plan to select the highest bidder as their preferred bidder as early as January. If Park, who has a prior stock purchase right, is willing to pay the highest bidding price, he will take back control of Kumho Tire. But the tyre maker will be sold to the highest bidder if he doesn’t.
Given Kumho Tire’s share price hovering around at 11,000 won, the 42.1 % stake is valued at about 630 billion won. Including management premiums, creditors expect the stake sale could reach as high as 1 trillion won.