Seoul – Mid-sized Korean tire retailer Tire Bank, has joined the race to acquire South Korea’s second largest tire manufacturer Kumho Tire, according to local press reports.
The Korea Herald and other Korean news papers reported 27 March that the Daejeon-based company placed its bid, just four days before a deadline set by creditors to inject capital into Kumho.
The reports did not indicate whether the bid is for the 45% share of Kumho, owned by creditors, or for the entire ownership.
Korean news agency Yonhap said Tire Bank’s chief Kim Jeong-kyu announced the decision at a press conference in Daejeon, about 160km south of Seoul.
The agency reported Kim as saying that he did not want to see the tiremaker pushed towards ownership by a Chinese company. Some reports were, however, sceptical that Tire Bank had financial capability to buy Kumho.
Chinese investors led by Qingdao Doublestar told ERJ in March that it had reached an agreement with Kumho’s shareholder Korea Development Bank to acquire a 45% stake in the tire maker for €510 million.