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SM Group attracted to SsangYong Motor's Pyeongtaek campus SM Group likely to benefit from site development

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-08-05 06:54:09

이 기사는 2021년 08월 05일 06:28 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Market insiders are paying attention to whether SM Group will finish the race to acquire South Korea’s ailing carmaker SsangYong Motor. The group is weighing a plan utilize SsangYong’s Pyeongtaek campus amid the carmaker’s plan to move out of the campus.

SM Group, which had tried to acquire the carmaker a decade ago, currently has 12 affiliates under its wing, including Keangnam Enterprises, Woobang, and Woobang Industrial. It also has two apartment brands, including Keangnam Honorsville and Woobang IU Shell.

SM Group operates the shipping business through Korea Line and SM Line and acquired UBC Ulsan Broadcasting to expand its business. The group also has vehicle component production affiliates such as Namsun Aluminum and TK Chemical, which can create synergies with SsangYong.

Industry watchers said the group may have been attracted to SsangYong’s 694,000-square meter site given its history in the construction industry.

The possibility of SsangYong’s sale of Pyeongtaek campus has strengthened SM Group’s will to acquire the company, industry sources said. If SM Group develops the campus into a residential site, the value of the site could increase to as much as 2 trillion won, which will enable the company to secure money more than enough to repay debts held by SsangYong.

SsangYong signed a memorandum of understanding with the city government of Pyeongtaek regarding the sale of the site in July. The court-appointed manager of SsangYong and its labor union also agreed on the plan.

SM Group has reportedly been seeking for a residential site amid its expansion of the construction business.

“The financial power of a buyer is essential in this deal because the closing of the deal requires a business normalization plan that can get consent from creditors,” said an industry source. “(SM Group) is expected to finish the race as it has a concrete plan to secure funds along with possible synergies.”

SM Group is mulling a plan to normalize SsangYong’s business by securing liquidity through the development of the site. Other potential buyers, including a consortium led by Edison Motors, are less likely to benefit from the development of the site compared to SM Group, which owns builders. SM Group participated in the bidding process without hiring an adviser.

The final round of bidding is likely to be scheduled after due diligence completes at the end of August. The final round of bidding and the selection of a preferred bidder are expected as early as September. (Reporting by Seon-young Kim)
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