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Will KAMCO buy cash-strapped Korean Air’s land?

Korean Air’s land in Songhyeon-dong (Korean Air)
Korean Air’s land in Songhyeon-dong (Korean Air)

With no companies bidding for the sale of Korean Air’s land in Songhyeon-dong, Seoul, the government unveiled plans to launch a corporate asset purchase program worth 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion), raising expectations that the carrier may have a new option.

According to industry sources, there were no participants in the preliminary bidding for Korean Air’s land, which closed Wednesday. That outcome was deemed to have been influenced by the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s plans to turn the site into a park. Initially, there had reportedly been five to six strong candidates.

Meanwhile, at an emergency economic meeting Thursday, the Financial Services Commission voted to create a 2 trillion won corporate asset purchase program centering on the Korea Asset Management Corporation.

Priority will be given to companies making self-rescue efforts through steps such as improving their financial structure and seeking creditor support, officials said.

This program involves KAMCO and the private sector jointly investing in the purchase of assets that companies find challenging to sell, and reselling them to third parties. KAMCO is set to receive applications for asset purchases next month, after conducting market demand surveys this month.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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