중앙데일리

Kumho Group agrees to workout of 2 subsidiaries

금호산업·타이어 워크아웃 … 석유화학·항공은 자구노력   PLAY AUDIO

Dec 31,2009
Kumho Asiana Group’s headquarters in Jongno, downtown Seoul. [NEWSIS]
After months of struggle to surmount financial woes, Kumho Asiana Group yesterday turned two of its subsidiaries over for debt rescheduling and corporate restructuring led by creditor banks.

The group also agreed to transfer its controlling stake in Daewoo Engineering & Construction to Korea Development Bank, a leading creditor bank. Earlier, Kumho Asiana asked its creditors to place Kumho Industrial Co. and Kumho Tire Co. under the debt workout plan to help it ease a worsening cash shortage sparked by the delayed sale of Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co.

The state-run Korea Development Bank is also expected to take over Kumho group’s insurance unit, Kumho Life Insurance, by forming a joint private equity fund with local asset manager Consus Asset Management.

But Korea Kumho Petrochemical and Asiana Airlines, Kumho group’s two major pillars and de facto holding firms, will remain under the group’s control and will be required only to make voluntary efforts to overhaul their management and improve their financial health. That means the group’s founding Park family will retain management control.

But the family members also pledged to commit their personal wealth, including all of their share holdings in the group’s subsidiaries, as collateral to creditors during the debt rescheduling process. The exact value of the financial commitment is subject to further discussion.

Once the restructuring plan kicks off, creditors of the two companies will first exchange their bonds for shares, perform due diligence to figure out the company’s financial condition, devise a management overhaul plan, possibly “including a workforce reduction,” according Kumho group’s statement yesterday.

When it made a 6.4 trillion won ($5.49 billion) takeover of Daewoo Construction in 2006, Kumho group invited several local banks, private equity funds and brokerages to take part as financial backers. The acquisition cost 3.5 trillion won. At the time, Kumho promised financial backers that it would buy back the shares by December this year for around 32,000 won if Daewoo’s stock price fell below that level - an event Kumho initially believed was unimaginable.

But as the shares fell below the figure the group faced mounting pressure to honor its agreement, forcing Kumho to offer subsidiaries, including Kumho Life Insurance and Daewoo Construction, for sale. But the deal to sell Daewoo, possibly to two private equity funds called Jabez Partners and TR America Consortium, fell apart, leaving Kumho in an even more desperate situation. With its financial condition eroding following the global credit crunch, Kumho group finally raised the white flag yesterday.

“The sale of Daewoo Construction was not completed on time, bringing liquidity concerns into reality, so we decided to ask for the workout program of two of our subsidiaries,” Oh Nam-soo, head of Kumho group’s strategic management division, said in a press conference held in the Korea Development Bank’s headquarters in Seoul yesterday. The conference came after a meeting with creditor banks and Seoul financial regulators. Once the blueprint to normalize the two firms’ management is finalized, a private equity fund operated by Korea Development Bank will buy a 50 percent stake in Daewoo Construction, plus one additional share, for 18,000 won per share from the Kumho group. Daewoo Construction’s share price closed at 12,800 won yesterday. Kumho Industrial, the subsidiary in charge of the share buyback for Daewoo Construction’s financial backers, has a debt of about 2 trillion won, and Kumho Tire about a 1.6 trillion won debt.


By Jung Ha-won [hawon@joongang.co.kr]
Related Korean Article

산업은행, 대우건설 인수키로


금호아시아나그룹의 주력 계열사인 금호산업과 금호타이어가 워크아웃(채권단 공동관리)에 들어간다. 금호그룹의 지주회사 격인 금호석유화학과 아시아나항공은 금호그룹과 채권단이 자율협약 형태로 재무구조를 개선하기로 했다.

이와 함께 박삼구 금호그룹 명예회장과 일가는 보유 지분과 자산 등을 출연해 그룹의 자금난을 덜기로 했다.

금호그룹과 주채권은행인 산업은행은 30일 이 같은 내용의 구조조정 방안을 발표했다.

김영기 산은 수석부행장은 “대우건설 매각이 무산되면서 금호그룹에 대한 시장의 우려가 커졌고, 유동성 위기가 금호그룹 전반으로 파급되는 것을 차단하기 위한 조치”라고 설명했다.


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