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(LEAD) Underwear firm Ssangbangwool submits bid for SsangYong

16:08 June 24, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 2, 8, 16-18; ADDS 1st photo)

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean underwear company Ssangbangwool said Friday it has submitted a bid for SsangYong Motor Co. in the auction to find a new investor for the debt-laden carmaker.

SsangYong's lead manager, the EY Hanyoung accounting firm, received bids from interested companies for SsangYong until 3 p.m. Friday. Ssangbangwool was the sole participant.

"We have suggested some meaningful conditions to acquire SsangYong," a Ssangbangwool spokesman said without elaborating.

SsangYong plans to select the final bidder in the stalking horse bid, in which the preliminary bidder suggests its price for SsangYong ahead of the auction, and other bidders submit their prices in the auction.

If a company submits a price higher than the stalking horse's price, SsangYong will ask the stalking horse if it can pay the highest bidding price to buy the carmaker.

In May, SsangYong selected a local consortium led by chemical-to-steel firm KG Group as the preliminary bidder for SsangYong.

(LEAD) Underwear firm Ssangbangwool submits bid for SsangYong - 1

Last month, four firms -- KG Group, Pavilion PE, EV parts maker EL B&T and underwear company Ssangbangwool -- competed to become the preliminary bidder for SsangYong in the stalking horse bid. KG and Pavilion PE formed a consortium after submitting letters of intent.

Back then, Ssangbangwool reportedly suggested 380 billion won (US$292.7 million) for SsangYong, higher than the KG consortium's 350 billion won. Ssangbangwool confirmed their bidding price was higher than the KG consortium's.

But SsangYong and EY Hanyoung accepted the KG-led consortium as the preliminary bidder as the consortium beat others in terms of the acquisition price, fundraising plans and employment guarantee period.

The new auction comes two months after local electric bus maker Edison Motors Co. failed to make a full payment of 304.8 billion won for the debt-laden carmaker by the March 25 deadline.

The court extended the deadline for SsangYong to find a new owner and submit a new restructuring plan by six months until Oct. 15.

SsangYong aims to select a preferred bidder at the end of June, sign a deal in early July, submit its rehabilitation plan to the court in late July and obtain the court's approval for its restructuring plan in late August.

China-based SAIC Motor Corp. acquired a 51 percent stake in SsangYong in 2004 but relinquished its control of the carmaker in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

In 2011, Mahindra acquired a 70 percent stake in SsangYong for 523 billion won and now holds a 74.65 percent stake in the carmaker.

SsangYong has been under court receivership since April 15, 2021, after Mahindra failed to attract an investor amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its worsening financial status.

SsangYong's lineup consists of the Tivoli, Korando, Rexton and Rexton Sports SUVs. It plans to launch the all-new Torres SUV in the domestic market next month and export it initially to Chile later this year.

On Friday, Ssangbangwool jumped 6.4 percent to 600 won, and its affiliate Kanglim Co., a special-purpose vehicle maker, also gained 8.2 percent to 1,580 won. The broader KOSPI rose 2.3 percent to 2,366.60.

Trading of SsangYong shares has been suspended since Dec. 21, 2020. KPMG Samjong declined to offer its opinion for its 2021 financial report due to snowballed losses. SsangYong posted net losses for six consecutive years through 2021.

This file photo provided by SsangYong Motor shows its plant in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



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