Korea Express sale attracts 10 bidders: court

Korea Express has attracted 10 bidders, an official at a South Korean court said on last Tuesday 11th December, in a sale that analysts say could fetch up to USD 2.2 billion.

The deal would be the biggest acquisition in the country’s transportation sector and also provide hefty fees for investment banks advising a list of major South Korean companies interested in bidding.

“A total of 10 bidders have put in letters of intent, and out of them, four are in the form of consortia,” a Seoul District Court official told Reuters.

The official said the creditors of the logistics firm will allow the preliminary bidders to conduct due diligence from December 17 to January 4 before submitting a formal bid on January 11.

Korea Express declined to comment.

Local news provider MoneyToday said the bidders include transport groups such as Kumho Asiana, Hanjin Group HANJ.UL, the parent of Korean Air, Hyundai Heavy Industries and STX Corp, as well as retail giant CJ Corp.

Korea Express, in which Goldman Sachs is the biggest shareholder, plans to sell a 50 percent stake plus one share to a buyer by issuing new shares.

Korea Express picked in October a consortium consisting of Merrill Lynch and Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers to manage the sale.

The logistics firm has been placed under court receivership since 2000 due to its debt guarantees for bankrupt former affiliate Dong Ah Construction.

Shares in Korea Express rose 2.0 percent to 102,000 won, compared with a 0.98 percent rise in the broader market.

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