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South Korea's Aekyung, KCGI to join bidding for Asiana Airlines - sources

09/02/2019 | 10:41pm EST
FILE PHOTO: Aircraft flies over the head office of Asiana Airlines in Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean retail-to-airline group Aekyung and activist fund KCGI plan to participate in preliminary bidding for a stake in Asiana Airlines, the country's No.2 carrier on Tuesday, company officials said.

Big conglomerates GS, SK and Hanwha would not participate in the bidding for the debt-ridden carrier, company spokesmen said.

The 31.05% stake, worth 387.4 billion won ($319.5 million) as of Monday's closing price, has been put up for sale by top shareholder Kumho Industrial, which has been under pressure from creditors to reduce its debt.

The sale comes as the South Korean airline industry struggles with higher fuel costs and weakening demand due to a diplomatic row between Seoul and Tokyo.

Asiana Airlines and bigger rival Korean Air Lines swung to operating losses for the April-to-June quarter, from a year earlier.

KCGI would form a consortium to bid for the Asiana stake, a KCGI source said without disclosing its partners.

South Korean brokerage Mirae Asset Daewoo also would take part in the deal as a financial investor, a company official said without elaborating.

Asiana shares rallied more than 7% on Tuesday, while its budget arm Air Busan and Asiana IDT gained more than 4% each.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Ju-min Park; editing by Richard Pullin and Stephen Coates)

© Reuters 2019
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIR BUSAN CO., LTD. -3.47% 3900 End-of-day quote.19.08%
ANHUI JIANGHUAI AUTOMOBILE GROUP CORP.,LTD. 0.39% 10.22 End-of-day quote.-16.43%
ASIANA AIRLINES, INC. 42.52% 18000 End-of-day quote.42.52%
ASIANA IDT, INC. -7.18% 25850 End-of-day quote.7.48%
GS HOLDINGS CORP. -1.97% 39750 End-of-day quote.5.86%
HANWHA CORPORATION 1.63% 31200 End-of-day quote.10.25%
JEJU AIR CO., LTD. -3.02% 20850 End-of-day quote.13.62%
KOREAN AIR LINES CO.,LTD. -1.83% 32150 End-of-day quote.18.20%
KUMHO INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. -3.57% 9450 End-of-day quote.4.07%
MIRAE ASSET DAEWOO CO., LTD. -1.94% 10100 End-of-day quote.6.99%
SK HOLDINGS CO., LTD -1.14% 302500 End-of-day quote.25.78%
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