While Park Sam-koo won’t bid to acquire the Kumho Tire shareholding currently held by its creditors, he already holds one particular asset, and he’s not willing to simply let go of it. Through subsidiary Kumho Industrial, the Kumho Asiana Group chairman controls rights to the Kumho brand name. Park is prepared to allow whoever acquires the 42.01 per cent share in Kumho Tire to use the Kumho name – provided they pay for the privilege. This is a point that will likely complicate any potential sale.
According to industry sources, Kumho Tires’ creditors will return the agreement on use of the Kumho brand name to Kumho Industrial this week ahead of a planned signing of a contract before the end of the month.
Negotiations over the use of the Kumho brand name are drawing to a conclusion, with Park Sam-Koo and the board of Kumho Industrial Co. announcing their final offer following a meeting yesterday. This offer centres on the payment of 0.5 per cent of Kumho Tire’s sales in brand royalties for 12.5 years and a clause ensuring that Doublestar uses the Kumho name for the entire period.
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.
It’s more than two months since Qingdao Doublestar Tire was named the preferred bidder to acquire a 42.01 per cent share in Kumho Tire, yet a satisfactory agreement remains elusive. The most contentious point has been the use of the Kumho brand name, with rightsholder Kumho Industrial demanding 0.5 per cent of Kumho Tire’s revenues for 20 years for use of the name – significantly more than the 0.2 per cent for five years as previously agreed between Doublestar Tire and Kumho Tire’s creditors.
The chairman of Kumho Tire’s parent company has been accused of manipulating the price of Kumho Industrial shares ahead of a planned majority shareholding sale. Drawing its information from “the industry”, Business Korea reports that a certain Mr. Kang has sued Kumho Asiana chairman Park Sam Koo and 20 other Kumho executives for professional malpractice, violation of the financial investment laws (including insider trading) market price manipulation and unfair trading, and bid interference.