Apollo Is Definitely Out of the Running to Buy Kumho Tire

Bob Ulrich
Posted on October 2, 2017

True or false: Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is up for sale. Although there has been no official word from the company itself, that is true, based on every article posted by every Korean newspaper in close to a year. That's a long time for the creditors to be restless, and complaining to the press.

(See also "Kumho Tire Sale Looks Imminent; Who Will Buy It?" for more details.)

Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Sam-koo Park reportedly has had the right of first refusal to buy a significant stake in the company, but a Sept. 26, 2017, story by "Business Korea" said his turnaround plan was rejected by creditors, and that he was resigning as chairman without exercising that option.

True or false: Apollo Tyres Ltd. is swooping in to buy Kumho Tire. True, according to a report from the "Economic Times/Indulal PM" news source out of Mumbai, India. Absolutely false, according to Apollo.

"Apollo Tyres strongly denies the story headlined 'Apollo Back in Kumho Race as Geopolitics Sours China Deal’ that appeared in the print edition of ‘The Economic Times’ on Oct 2, 2017," said an Apollo spokesperson. "The company would like to reiterate that it has no intention of making any attempts to enter the process of acquiring Kumho Tyres, as stated in the story."

The "Economic Times" claims it was the first to report on Apollo's interest in Kumho in November 2016. Perhaps it thinks that is enough to corroborate its latest claim about Apollo.

Following these revelations, who is the favorite to buy Kumho Asiana's Korea-based tire subsidiary?

Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co. Ltd. appeared close to buying Kumho Tire in May, according to "The Korea Herald." But the "Korean JoongAng Daily" says the Chinese tire manufacturer officially removed its bid for consideration on Sept. 12.

"Chinese tire giant Qingdao Doublestar signed a definitive agreement with Kumho's creditors to acquire a 42% stake in January, but the deal was called off primarily due to the South Korean government's opposition," added the "Economic Tires" on Sunday.

That may be true. Or perhaps not. Covering the attempted sale of Kumho Tire Co. is not easy.

Related Topics: acquisitions, Apollo Tyres, Business Korea, Economic Times, Korea Herald, Korean JoongAng Daily, Kumho Tire, Park Sam-koo, Qingdao Doublestar Tire

Bob Ulrich Editor
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