The race to acquire South Korea’s troubled SsangYong Motor is heating up beyond expectations, with nine groups reportedly having expressed interest.
According to local reports, a total of nine had submitted letters of intent to buy a controlling stake in the automaker, which is currently under court receivership, before the July 30 deadline.
They include Cardinal One Motors, set up by US-based auto importer and distributor HAAH Automotive Holdings, a consortium led by Korean electric bus maker Edison Motors, another led by Korean electric scooter maker Kpop Motors, Samra Midas Group and a local private equity.
Deal watchers had earlier predicted the race to be a two-way competition between HAAH and Edison. But with the last-minute entry of Samra Midas, which has shown a strong appetite for deals in the mergers and acquisitions scene recently, the competition appears to be growing hotter.
Up for sale is a majority stake in SsangYong, currently held by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra.
According to EY Hanyoung, the deal’s manager, the potential bidders will conduct preliminary due diligence from August 2-27 before finalising an offer.
The schedule for the main bidding process is not known, but SsangYong Motor said it hopes to select a preferred bidder within September.
Local reports said the buyer would have to assume SsangYong’s overdue debt worth 390 billion won ($340 million), on top of the deal’s price.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK