Mirae mulls joining Hyundai bid

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Mirae mulls joining Hyundai bid

The sales bid for Hyundai Securities has faced a variable, as Mirae Asset is reportedly considering indirectly joining the Hyundai bid by forming a consortium with a home-grown private equity fund (PEF).

A rumor circulated in local securities industry on Monday that Mirae Asset Securities - the winner of the industry’s largest Daewoo Securities’ mergers and acquisition (M&A) deal last year - has shown interest in the Hyundai bid by indirectly acquiring the firm after investing in a PEF called LK Investment Partners.

LK, an affiliate of LK Asset Management under the LIG Group, is a small company that already submitted its letter of intent to join the Hyundai bid in late February.

So far, the Hyundai Securities deal was considered to be a competition between Korea Investment Holdings and KB Financial Group, two giants that lost out in the Daewoo bid and were eager to win the Hyundai bid this time to expand their corporate body and diversify their businesses.

Mirae Asset officially denied the rumor, saying no decision has been made yet.

“It is true that we received an investment suggestion recently to join the bid as a strategic investor in a consortium,” said a representative from Mirae Asset on Monday. “We’ll make the final decision whether to join or not by Friday’s deadline.”

Mirae Asset also emphasized that the suggestion was nothing abnormal, but rather that the company was just one of 30 financiers that received the suggestion from LK.

Some brokerage industry members forecast that Mirae Asset won’t be able to join the Hyundai bid due to a lack of funds after its acquisition of Daewoo, but the firm denied the speculations, again emphasizing that the firm has plenty of cash and that its decision to participate doesn’t hinge on this factor.

Despite Mirae’s denial, Hyundai Securities shares rose 2.81 percent to close at 6,950 won ($5.98) on the Kospi on Monday, reflecting expectations that the share’s acquisition price will end up much higher than previously estimated. Mirae Asset shares dropped 0.67 percent to close at 22,250 won.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]
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