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Underwear maker submits bid to buy ailing SsangYong Motor

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Seoul/New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) South Korean underwear company Ssangbangwool said on Friday that it has submitted a bid for SsangYong Motor 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 and Ssangbangwool was the first identified participant.

“We have suggested some meaningful conditions to acquire SsangYong,” a Ssangbangwool spokesman said without elaborating, reports Yonhap news agency.

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

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

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 (LOIs).

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 failed to make a full payment of $249 million 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 October 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 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.

SsangYong’s lineup consists of the Tivoli, Korando, Rexton, and Rexton Sports SUVs.

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