The auction to sell South Korea's No. 3 smartphone maker Pantech Co. failed again Friday from a lack of bidders, the sale manager said, casting a cloud over the company's normalization.
Samgjong KPMG said there were no bidders to acquire the troubled firm, although a handful of tech firms from home and abroad had previously handed in letters of intent. The bidding was originally due to be completed last month, but it was extended to open it up to more firms.
Industry watchers said overseas companies were apparently reluctant as the South Korean handset manufacturing market is dominated by two global brands -- Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. Pantech claims about 10 percent of the domestic market. India-based Micromax and emerging Chinese players such as Huawei, Lennovo, Xiamoi and ZTE were cited as possible foreign bidders.
In September, the Seoul Central District Court approved a plan by Pantech creditors, led by the Korea Development Bank, to sell the company, a month after it commenced a court receivership program.
Samjung KPMG said it will meet with the creditors and the court to discuss the future of Pantech, with results expected in about two weeks.
Although Pantech graduated from a five-year debt rescheduling program in December 2011, its financial footing weakened again as it struggled with falling sales. (Yonhap)