Sale of Daewoo Heavy attracts 11 preliminary bids

The South Korean government has received 11 preliminary bids from companies wishing to buy all or part of Daewoo Heavy Industries & Machinery, according to reports by Reuters and The Financial Times. The deadline for non-binding proposals was May 18.

The Korea Asset Management Corp, a government agency that is coordinating the sale, did not reveal the names of bidders, but said in March more than 20 firms, including Terex, Deere & Co., Linde AG and Korean companies Hyosung and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction were interested in Daewoo Heavy. KAMCO said it would choose a shortlist of final bidders in June, and select preferred bidders in July, after a month of due diligence. The defense portion of the company, which makes products such as missile systems and armored vehicles, could be sold separately because South Korea will not sell it to a foreign firm.

KAMCO and state-run Korea Development Bank own about 57 percent of Daewoo Heavy, which was nationalized after parent Daewoo Group went bankrupt in 1999. The sale is part of the South Korean government’s efforts to recoup some of the $135 billion in taxpayer money it used to bail out troubled companies during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

Most of Daewoo Group’s component businesses continue to operate, and several have been sold. General Motors bought Daewoo Motor in 2002, Tata Motors of India purchased Daewoo Commercial Vehicle last month and Daewoo Engineering is scheduled to be sold.