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Kumho Group, creditors get closer to agreement on stake sale

Kumho Asiana Group and creditor banks have nearly reached an agreement to resell a majority stake in Kumho Industrial Co., the group's de facto holding company, back to its chairman, a move that is expected to put an end to Park's years-long efforts to restore the conglomerate to its former size.

The creditors led by the state-run Korea Development Bank said Wednesday that it notified the company of the final price of the stake sale, which was set at 722.8 billion won (US$607.7 million) in total.

They charged 41,213 won per share for a 50 percent plus one share in Kumho Industrial. The creditors hold a combined 57.7 percent stake in the construction firm.

Group Chairman Park Sam-koo quickly responded to the notice, saying that he will accept the price offer and sign a deal with the creditors as soon as possible.

He did not give details on the timing of the contract, but he may push the signing of the stake purchase contract to later this week. The signing was initially scheduled on Sept. 30.

If Park successfully completes the takeover of Kumho Industrial, he will regain management control over South Korea's 25th largest business group, including Asiana Airlines Inc., the second-largest air carrier, for the first time in six years.

Since 2009, Kumho Industrial has been under a creditor-led workout program following a liquidity crunch. Many of the group's affiliates were sold in bundles to other investors.

Kumho Industrial owns a 30.08 percent stake in Asiana Airlines, who has a 100 percent stake in Kumho Terminal and 46 percent in local low-cost carrier Air Busan Co. (Yonhap)