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Three Chinese firms bid for Kumho Tire

All Headlines 16:30 January 12, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) -- Three Chinese companies have formally offered to buy a controlling stake in Kumho Tire Co., South Korea's second-largest tire maker, industry sources said Thursday.

They are Qingdao Doublestar Co., Shanghai Aerospace Industry Co. and Jiangsu GPRO Group Co.

Nine creditors of Kumho, including the Korea Development Bank, closed the bid for a 42.01 percent stake in the firm estimated to be worth around 1 trillion won (US$846 million), earlier in the day.

They plan to pick the preferential bidder on Friday.

Keen attention is being paid to whether Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo would buy back the tire maker seen as a key to his attempt to rebuild his business empire.

The corporate logo of Kumho Tire Co. (Yonhap)

Park has the right of first refusal, which gives him the priority to repurchase management control under the same terms with any highest bidder.

"Park plans to exercise his right of first refusal, though the key is the price," a Kumho Asiana official said, requesting anonymity.

Kumho Tire was placed under a creditor-led workout program in 2009, with its parent Kumho Asiana Group hit hard by a liquidity crunch from the takeover of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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