Acquisition ugliness: Kumho Tire execs threaten mass resignation

Qingdao Doublestar Tire’s bid to acquire 42.01 per cent of South Korean tyre maker Kumho Tire is developing into a drama of the sort not witnessed since a stubborn Cooper Chengshan Tire helped derail Apollo Tyres’ purchase of Cooper Tire & Rubber. Business Korea writes today that 41 Kumho Tire executives, including chief executive officer Lee Han-seob, intend to resign should Kumho Tire’s creditors sell the share to Doublestar.

In a statement issued yesterday and printed in part by Business Korea, the executives wrote that they are “absolutely opposed to selling the company to Doublestar” and “strongly” requested that the creditors “help Kumho Tire remain part of Kumho Asiana Group.” They also rejected the ‘D’ rating given by major creditor Korea Development Bank.

The board of Kumho Industrial will meet on 18 July to discuss the creditors’ offer for Doublestar’s use of the Kumho brand name. Business Korea informs that should chief executive (and Kumho Asiana chairman) Park Sam-koo disagree to the terms on offer, the creditors will hold a shareholders’ meeting and strip Park of his right of management and first right of refusal for Kumho Tire.

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