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(LEAD) SBW group pushing to acquire SsangYong Motor

All News 23:31 March 31, 2022

(ATTN: RECASTS slug, headline, lead; UPDATES with SBW's bid in paras 1-6)

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- Ssangbangwool (SBW) Inc., the nation's leading underwear maker, is considering buying debt-ridden SsangYong Motor Co., after an acquisition bid by another carmaker failed this week.

An SBW official said Thursday the group recently sent the lead manager of the deal its intent to take over the domestic unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

SsangYong, the smallest of the country's five automakers, said Monday it canceled a deal to sell its controlling stake to the preferred bidder, Edison Motors Co., after the electric bus maker failed to make a full payment by the March 25 deadline.

Following the news, SBW created a taskforce to acquire the SUV-focused automaker under court receivership, the official said.

The group will form a consortium of its affiliates, including Kanglim Co., a manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, the official said.

"Led by group affiliate Kanglim, we are actively considering the acquisition of SsangYong Motor," the official said.

Earlier in the day, SsangYong said an external auditor rejected its annual financial report following the collapse of Edison Motors' bid.

Samjong KPMG gave a disclaimer of opinion for its 2021 financial report for the second consecutive year, SsangYong said in a regulatory filing.

"We have doubt over SsangYong Motor's ability to continue its business," Samjong said in a report.

The auditor said it was uncertain whether the bankruptcy court would accept the cash-strapped automaker's rehabilitation plan given its low feasibility.

SsangYong logged 2.4 trillion won (US$2.1 billion) in sales and 260.6 billion won in operating losses last year. It has logged deficits since 2017.

A truck enters SsangYong Motor Co.'s factory in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, on March 28, 2022. (Yonhap)

A truck enters SsangYong Motor Co.'s factory in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, on March 28, 2022. (Yonhap)


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