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Hite Beer Consortium Selected as Preferred Bidder for Jinro

Hite Beer Consortium Selected as Preferred Bidder for Jinro

Posted April. 01, 2005 23:25,   


Hite Beer consortium was selected as the preferred bidder for Jinro Ltd., a local distiller set to go on sale.

Seoul Central District Court announced that Hite Beer consortium, which consists of Hite Beer, the Korean Teachers` Credit Union, the Korean Development Bank, the Military Mutual Aid Association, and the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives, was selected as the preferred bidder for the court-administrated distiller. Taihan Electric Wire Consortium, Doosan Consortium, and CJ Consortium were picked as preliminary bidders.

It is known that the consortium suggested an offer of 3.2 trillion won.

If successful, Hite Beer will be the first company in Korea with more than 50 percent of the market share in both the beer and soju markets.

As of the end of last year, Hite Beer has a 57 percent share of the Korean beer market, while Jinro`s share in the Korean soju market is 55.4 percent.

The consortium will put down a 70 billion won deposit and complete a binding MOU to start a thorough investigation on the company for three months. The main contract is set to conclude in early July if the outcome shows no discrepancies.

Hite Beer announced that all former Jinro employees will retain their jobs after the acquisition.

Hite Beer, however, has to pass investigations from the Fair Trade Committee regarding the effect of business combination on the market in order to complete the takeover.

According to the committee`s current regulations, any takeover deal between companies with a combined market share exceeding 50 percent shall be nullified.

Jin-Suk Huh jameshuh@donga.com