Creditors agree to sell Kumho Tire to Chinese tiremaker

Michelle Jung, March 10, 2017, 9:34 a.m.

Creditors of Kumho Tire Co. said Friday that they have agreed to sell the country's No. 2 tiremaker to a Chinese tiremaker which was chosen as the preferred bidder in mid-January.

The creditors, led by the state-run Korea Development Bank, said they will sign a deal with Chinese tiremaker Qingdao Doublestar Co. on Monday to sell their combined 42.1 percent stake in Kumho Tire.

Qingdao Doublestar has reportedly offered to buy Kumho Tire for some 1 trillion won ($864 million), but the creditors did not reveal the exact value of the deal.

The creditors will soon give notice to Park Sam-koo, chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, parent of the tiremaker, who has a priority option to buy back the affiliate.

Park has a month to make a decision after getting the related notice from the creditors.

Industry sources expect Park to set up a special purpose company to buy back Kumho Asiana with the help of a few financial investors.

Kumho Tire was placed under a creditor-led workout program in 2009, with its parent Kumho Asiana hit hard by a liquidity crunch from the takeover of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. 

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