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Eastar may pick preferred bidder next week

Easter Jet (Yonhap)
Easter Jet (Yonhap)
Budget carrier Eastar Jet Co. may pick a preferred bidder next week after reviewing plans from several investors to take over the financially troubled company, industry sources said Sunday.

Easter Jet, currently under a court-led rehabilitation scheme, has received letters of intent from several companies, including a consortium led by Kanglim, a local equipment maker under underwear company Ssang Bang Wool, and other private equity funds, according to industry sources.

Several companies have shown an interest in acquiring Eastar after the bankruptcy court approved the corporate rehabilitation process for the carrier in February.

Eastar is required to submit its debt-repayment and other rehabilitation programs to the court by July 20, which was delayed by two months.

According to the sources, a preferred bidder will conduct due diligence on the airline and may finalize the takeover by the end of next month.

The budget carrier earlier said it aims to receive an air operator certificate (AOC) from the transport ministry once the Seoul bankruptcy court accepts its rehabilitation program to resume domestic flights within this year.

Eastar has suspended most of its flights on domestic and international routes since March last year due to the coronavirus' impact on the airline industry, and its AOC became ineffective in May 2020.

It has had difficulties in finding a strategic investor since July last year, when Jeju Air Co. scrapped its plan to acquire the carrier amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. (Yonhap)
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