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Kumho Tire likely to be sold to a Chinese company

Posted April. 19, 2017 07:18,   

Updated April. 19, 2017 07:26


Kumho Tire, Korea's No. 2 tire maker and the 14th in the world, is likely to be acquired by a Chinese investor. Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo said Tuesday that he would not exercise his right to buy back its tire making affiliate currently under creditors' control.

Creditor banks therefore will move forward with the sale of Kumho Tie to Chinese tire maker Doublestar, the preferred bidder. Yet, trademark right disputes can happen, meaning that Kumho Tire's fate has not been completely decided.

"I will not join in this unjustifiable and unfair sales process, and not exercise my right to buy back," Park said Tuesday morning. "We have constantly requested Korea Development Bank to allow Kumho to form a consortium for the potential takeover, but the bank unfairly and unjustly approved a consortium by Double Star and not to the chairman." Korea Development Bank informed Park of the consortium disapproval on Monday.

"We strongly urge that bidding for Kumho Tire sales should be reopened in a fair manner," Kumho Group said. On whether it will take legal action including injunction on suspension of sales procedures, the group said "We went through various reviews, and decided not to file a lawsuit against the banking sector this time."

"There will be no rebidding and there is no reason to do rebidding," Korean Development Bank said on Chairman Park's demand. If Chairman Park fails to notify us his willingness for a buy back right until midnight Wednesday, Kumho will be excluded from this bidding process starting from Thursday.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com · Chang-Kyu Park kyu@donga.com