Kumho Petrochemical pressed to sell stake in Asiana Airlines

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Kumho Petrochemical pressed to sell stake in Asiana Airlines

Creditors of Korea Kumho Petrochemical are pressing the company to sell its stake in Asiana Airlines, a major affiliate of Kumho Asiana Group, in order to separate the petrochemical firm from the group, industry sources said yesterday

Park Chan-koo, chairman of Kumho Petrochemical, has been seeking to separate the company and two other petrochemical units from Kumho Asiana Group, owned by his elder brother Sam-koo, following a management feud between the two brothers in 2009.

“We demanded that Kumho Petrochemical dispose of some 14 million shares in Asiana Airlines to meet conditions of separation from Kumho Asiana Group,” said an official at the Korea Development Bank, the main creditor of Kumho Petrochemical.

Kumho Petrochemical has a 7.72 percent stake in Asiana Airlines, the country’s second-largest air carrier.

Kumho Petrochemical, however, said that the creditors are demanding too much, arguing that it still has a considerable amount of time until it reports the separation to the Fair Trade Commission by March.

The company also claims that stock prices of Asiana Airlines have been sluggish recently and the sale of the stake will cause Kumho Petrochemical to incur losses. Asiana Airlines closed at 6,660 won ($5.80) on the Seoul bourse on Friday.


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