The Korea Herald


Asiana Airlines stocks rally on possible takeover by Hanjin Group

By Choi Jae-hee

Published : Nov. 13, 2020 - 15:30

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(Asiana Airlines) (Asiana Airlines)
Stocks of Asiana Airlines’s key affiliates sharply rose Friday following news report saying Korea’s Hanjin Group, parent of the nation’s largest airline Korean Air Lines Co Ltd, is in talks with the state-run Korea Development Bank to acquire the cash-strapped airline. 

Shares of Asiana Airlines, the country’s No. 2 carrier, rose by 19.1 percent to 4,745 won ($4.25) in the early morning trading session, while its low-cost carrier unit Air Busan jumped 16.1 percent to 4,180 won. Kumho Industrial, a construction affiliate of Asiana Airlines’s parent company Kumho Asiana Group also traded higher at 4,550, up 20.7 percent.

According to a local media report, Asiana’s main creditor KDB is mulling Hanjin Group’s acquisition of the airline, in a way that the state-run bank provides funds to Hanjin KAL, the holding company of Hanjin Group so that the group could buy a 30.77 percent stake in Asiana Airlines. Once the planned deal takes effect, the KDB will become the third-largest shareholder in Hanjin KAL, industry sources said. 

However, both sides said discussions are underway over the reported plan along with various other options, but nothing has been determined. 

In December last year, HDC Hyundai Development pursued Asiana and agreed to purchase a 30.77 percent stake in the airline from Kumho Industrial. But the property developer’s acquisition plan collapsed after a series of failed renegotiations over acquisition terms. HDC demanded to reevaluate the sale price as the airline’s corporate value sharply fell due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The troubled airline’s net losses plunged to 432.88 billion won in the January-June period from 267.4 billion won a year earlier and its debts jumped by 4.5 trillion won from July last year to March this year, industry data showed.

By Choi Jae-hee (