SEOUL, South Korea (Feb. 14, 2017) — Kumho Asiana Group chairman Park Sam-koo has secured nearly $875 million in funding to help him back a 42-percent stake in Kumho Tire Co. Inc. that a consortium of banks is selling, according to a recent report by the Korea Times.
Citing Kumho officials, the report said Mr. Park had secured the funds "from several financial investors and business associates" to buy the stake in Kumho Tire, which is currently held by a number of creditors including Korea Development Bank (KDB).
Mr. Park, according to the official cited in the report, is ready to exercise his right to buy back the group's tire unit as soon as he is notified by creditors about the sales price.
As previously reported, the creditors group launched the company's sale last November, and in early January chose Chinese tire maker Qingdao Double Star Tire as its selected bidder.
The Chinese tire maker reportedly offered around 1 trillion won, outbidding other firms — said to include Shanghai Aerospace Industry Co. (SAIC), Jiangsu GPRO Group Co. of China and India's Apollo Tyres Ltd.
Mr. Park, however, can exercise a right to buy back the stake at the highest bid price.
According to the Korea Times, creditors plan to sign a stock purchase agreement with Double Star later this month and inform Park about the details. Once notified, the Kumho chairman has 30 days to exercise his buy-back right.
The consortium acquired the stake in 2009 when parent Kumho Asiana Group was dealing with serious credit issues.
Mr. Park has been with Kumho Asiana since 1967 and chairman since 2002.
Shahrzad Pourriahi is a reporter with European Rubber Journal, a London-based sister publication of Tire Business.