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Nissan leads Renault Group bid to acquire Ssangyong

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Nissan leads Renault Group bid to acquire Ssangyong

Automotive News Europe -- June 1, 2010 10:29 CET

SEOUL (Bloomberg) -- A group led by Nissan Motor Co. expressed interest in buying Korean carmaker Ssangyong Motor Co., an executive at the Japanese carmaker said.

The Korean unit of France's Renault SA placed a bid or “acknowledgment of an interest for Ssangyong facilities,” Andrew Palmer, a senior vice president at Nissan, said Tuesday.

Nissan, whose largest shareholder is Renault SA, is leading the effort, Palmer said.

Ssangyong, which entered bankruptcy protection in February 2009, offers buyers access to Asian and Russian markets, sale advisers Samjong KPMG Advisory Inc. and Macquarie Group Inc. said in a document sent to investors.

The advisers said May 28 that seven parties expressed interest in a controlling stake, which has been reported by MoneyToday to be worth at least 700 billion won ($572 million).

“The purchase would provide Renault's Korean unit much needed capacity in Korea, while Nissan can start production of its own-brand vehicles here,” said Sohn Myung Woo, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul.

Renault Samsung Motors Co. spokesman Lee Kyo Hyun declined to comment. Renault SA spokeswoman Frederique Le Greves said the French carmaker had no comment on a potential bid.

The sale advisers will shortlist bidders for an auction by June 4, Ssangyong said. The candidates will then conduct due diligence from June 7 to July 16 before submitting binding bids by July 20, Ssangyong said on May 28.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India's biggest sport-utility vehicle and tractor maker, is interested in bidding for Ssangyong, Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra's automotive division, said on May 29.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100601/ANE/100609998/1317#ixzz0pc6HgXIT

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