Park has funds for Kumho Tire buyback

Park Sam-koo reportedly possesses the funds needed to buy back a controlling stake in Kumho Tire. The chairman of the Kumho Asiana Group has raised almost KRW 1 trillion (£695 million) to acquire the 42.1 per cent share in Kumho Tire currently held by the Korea Development Bank and other creditors. The funds have been borrowed from financial investors and associates.

The Korea Times writes that a Kumho Asiana Official confirmed Park’s intention to “exercise his right to buy back the stake in the tyre unit,” and shared that a wholly-owned company has been set up to receive the borrowed funds. The official told The Korea Times that he didn’t know the identity of the investors.

Doublestar Tyre was chosen as the preferred bidder for the 42.1 per cent share on 17 January, its offer of between KRW 950 billion and KRW 1 trillion surpassing those submitted by Shanghai Aerospace Industry Corp. and Jiangsu GPRO Group. Park has first right of refusal on the stake in Kumho Tire, however his offer must be higher than Doublestar’s.

According to The Korea Times, the creditors intend to sign a stock purchase agreement with Doublestar later this month and inform Park of the sales price and other conditions. He will then have 30 days to decide whether to make an offer or relinquish his right. The Kumho Asiana Group chairman isn’t permitted to acquire the shareholding through a third party, nor may he utilise other Kumho Asiana Group businesses. The share must be bought using his personal funds.

The Korea Development Bank and the other creditors took on the 42.1 per cent share in Kumho Tire in a debt-for-equity swap in 2010. They agreed to negotiate first with Park when divesting the shareholding.

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