Doosan Group has shortlisted Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co., Eugene Group and private equity funds for the stake in Doosan Infracore Co., whose sale could fetch about 1 trillion won ($863.3 million).
Out of the 10 candidates that took part in last week’s preliminary tender, Doosan Group and sales advisor Credit Suisse narrowed down the list to six to seven names, according to investment banking sources on Wednesday.
The consortium of Hyundai Heavy Industries and state-run Korea Development Bank Investment, which had been billed as the strongest contender, easily made the list along with private equity firms Glenwood PE, MBK Partners and EastBridge Partners. One new addition was Eugene Group, a local conglomerate whose businesses range from construction materials to logistics.
The 36.27 percent stake in Doosan Infracore was put up for sale to keep its debt-ridden parent company Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. afloat. Doosan Infracore’s 51.05 percent stake in Doosan Bobcat, the U.S.-based construction equipment maker, is not included in the deal.
The talks gained momentum after Doosan Group sweetened the deal by announcing last month to assume all contingent liabilities related to Doosan Infracore China Co.
With the bid for Doosan Infracore turning out more heated than expected, experts say Doosan Group could now eye a price tag of 1 trillion won or higher.
Selling Doosan Infracore, the lucrative construction equipment making unit, has been a key part of the conglomerate’s self-rescue plan to meet the requirements for the state bailout of Doosan Heavy I&C. In exchange for receiving 3.6 trillion won in financial support from state banks, Doosan Group pledged to raise 3 trillion won through asset divestments. It has recently completed the sale of Doosan Mottrol Co., Neoplux, Doosan Solus, Club Mow Country Club and Doosan Tower.
Shares of Doosan Infracore rose 2.5 percent to finish Thursday at 9,010 won. Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, the holding company of the group’s non-shipbuilding units, remained unchanged at 222,000 won. Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., which is expected to benefit from the merger, gained 1.05 percent to 28,800 won.
By Kang Doo-soon, Park Jae-young and Kim Hyo-jin
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