Yielding his management right in Kumho Tire Co. headed for renewed debt relief program and custodianship under creditor banks does not mean he is entirely giving up his hopes to win back the tire company that had been the founding flagship for transportation conglomerate Kumho Asiana Group, said its chairman Park Sam-koo.
“There is still time. If the group does well, (there is the possibility of rebidding for Kumho Tire),” Park told the Maeil Business Newspaper on Wednesday.
Creditor banks led by Korea Development Bank disapproved self-rescue plan handed in by group-backed Kumho and decided to renew a debt workout program from which the tire company graduated three years ago after the sale option flopped upon losing their preferred bidder from China.
Park who had blocked the sale to Doublestar Tyre by using Kumho’s trademark rights offered to resign from his delegate title in Kumho Tire to make it easier for creditors to turn company around amid snowballing losses. Kumho Asiana Group lost stake in Kumho Tire in 2009 amid liquidity crisis, but Park was allowed to manage the company and given the right to buy it back if he can match the price for the stake from potential buyer.
Another group official explained that Asiana Airlines will finalize its three-year restructuring scheme next year. Once the group is stabilized and has the resources, it will attempt to bring the tire maker back into the group. Lee Han-seob, co-chief executive officer of Kumho Tire, will also resign.
Lead creditor KDB holds expanded creditors’ meeting on Sept. 28 to ask their opinion. If they agree on debt moratorium, the creditors’ group will delegate a new management, cut wages, and sell assets to normalize the company.
By Chung Seok-woo and Kang Young-woon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]