Kumho Tire turnaround main focus after deal collapses: biz leader

SEOUL-- The chief of Kumho Asiana Group said Wednesday the airline-to-construction conglomerate will consider asset sales in China to help turn around its tiremaking affiliate after the deal to sell it collapsed.

In March, China's Qingdao Doublestar signed a 955 billion-won (US$844 million) contract with the creditors led by the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) to buy a 42.01-percent stake in South Korea's No. 2 tiremaker. The deal fell through Monday when the creditors rejected Doublestar's demand to cut the purchase price, citing deteriorating earnings.

Doublestar demanded the creditors cut the price by 16 percent to 800 billion won, the KDB said.

The creditors called on Kumho Asiana to immediately come up with a self-rescue plan for the tire unit.

"We are reviewing a variety of options, including the sale of (Kumho Tire's) assets in China, to put the financially troubled tire unit back on track," Kumho Asiana Chairman Park Sam-koo told reporters in the lobby of group headquarters in Seoul, according to a company spokesman.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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