Fund may buy 31 percent stake in Asiana Airlines

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Fund may buy 31 percent stake in Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines on Monday jumped 11 percent on news that a local activist hedge fund considers taking over the airline.

Asiana shares soared 26 percent to an intraday high of 6,240 won before closing at 5,500 won. The broader KOSPI gained 0.7 percent.

Kumho Asiana Group, a Korean airline-to-petrochemical conglomerate, aims to sell a 31 percent stake in Asiana Airlines held by Kumho Industrial together with its two budget carrier units - Air Seoul, which is wholly owned by the airline, and 46 percent owned Air Busan - as part of its broad restructuring efforts.

The Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI) fund is at the initial stage of reviewing the information memorandum (IM) it has received from Credit Suisse, the sole adviser to the Asiana deal, to decide on whether to acquire the airline, according to local reports.

On Monday, the news also sent Air Busan 26 percent higher to 6,940 won and Kumho Industrial 3.4 percent higher to 12,300 won.

KCGI is considering forming a consortium with companies that have an interest in acquiring the country’s second-biggest airline, the reports said.

Kang Sung-boo, who represents the KCGI fund, didn’t answer a message left by Yonhap News Agency. A spokesman for the homegrown fund could not be reached.

Yonhap

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