SsangYong Motor to receive LOIs this week Three or four potential buyers show intention to buy carmaker

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-07-28 07:52:51

이 기사는 2021년 07월 28일 07:49 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Potential buyers of South Korea’s ailing carmaker SsangYong Motor are preparing to submit their letters of intent (LOI), which are due this week.

HAAH Automotive Holdings, a US-based automobile distributor, confirmed its intention to submit its LOI through its new entity, but it has not reportedly started to hire its sale manager.

SsangYong will be sold through an open tender, industry sources said Monday. EY Hanyoung, which is managing the sale process, will receive LOIs and non-disclosure agreements on Friday. The seller performed marketing campaigns to potential buyers and distributed a guide on the LOI submission earlier this month.

Market insiders have paid attention to whether the carmaker will find a buyer after media reports that HAAH, one of the most likely candidates to acquire the company, is set to file for bankruptcy this month. SsangYong needs to secure as many potential buyers as possible so that many bidders remain in the race until the final round of bidding.

Some market insiders said HAAH already decided to scrap its plan to acquire SsangYong. The US automobile distributor has not reportedly appointed a sale manager. Samil PwC had been advising on the acquisition for HAAH before the start of the SsangYong's court receivership, but the accounting firm has reportedly contacted other potential buyers to be mandated as a sale manager for the SsangYong deal.

An unnamed strategic investor, which has been weighing possible participation in the deal, has reportedly selected a manager to handle the process.

There is a possibility that HAAH joins the race without hiring its sale manager. HAAH founder Duke Hale said HAAH will submit its LOI by establishing new entity Cardinal One Motors. But industry sources said it is essential to hire a manager considering the nature of the sale, which requires discussion with creditors alongside a restructuring plan.

“HAAH didn’t make its decision for the acquisition during its discussions with the company, asking for more time to conduct due diligence,” said an industry source. “The fact that HAAH did not sign a stalking horse contract even though it was the strongest candidate is also a reason why there are doubts about its intention to purchase SsangYong.”

It has to be seen whether the ailing carmaker will actually be sold even if it receives several LOIs this week. Industry sources said some bidders will likely walk away from the deal during a due diligence process conducted to gauge contingent liabilities and possible business normalization. Even if the final bidding round is held after due diligence, the sale may be canceled if prices offered by potential buyers are not high enough.

Currently, three or four potential buyers, including the unnamed strategic investor, have expressed their intention to acquire the carmaker. (Reporting by Seon-young Kim)
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