Kumho set to announce Asiana buyer

Kumho Industrial expects to announce the buyer of its 31.05% stake in Asiana Airlines soon.

“We plan to select and announce a preferred bidder as early as next week,” the company tells Cirium.

“After selecting a preferred bidder, we plan to complete the sale as soon as possible through (an agreement to sell shares in Asiana Airlines). However, it is not possible to disclose the sale price at this time, and no detailed procedures have been decided.”

Kumho Industrial, currently the carrier’s largest shareholder, confirms that three consortium have stepped forward to bid for the Asiana stake.

One of them is the Jeju Air-Stonebridge consortium, formed by private equity fund Stonebridge Capital and conglomerate Aekyung Group. Aekyung owns Jeju Air, South Korea’s largest and most established low-cost carrier.

After stating its intention to join the tender, Aekyung Group was quoted as saying in the local media: “There has been no single case in the history of the global aviation industry in which a company that doesn’t have any experience in airline business acquires an air carrier.”

The two other bidders are a consortium formed by Hyundai Development and Mirae Asset Daewoo, as well as one comprising of the Korea Corporate Governance Improvement and BankerStreet private equity funds.

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