April 17, 2019 08:28
Several conglomerates are tipped as bidders in the selloff of Asiana Airlines based on their financial stability and deep pockets.
SK, the nation's third-largest conglomerate, is among them, but the telecom and chip giant has denied all rumors of being interested in taking over the troubled carrier. But market analysts note SK's sizeable capital resources, including SK Hynix, as the main reason it could be interested. The acquisition would make SK the second-largest conglomerate by assets, another tempting reason.
Hanwha could also join the fray since it already owns an aircraft engine manufacturer. For Shinsegae, buying Asiana could help grow its duty-free business.
Pundits say the denials are a common business strategy to keep the price from spiraling.
Lee Dong-geol, the chairman of the airline's main creditor Korea Development Bank, has suggested that Asiana affiliates like Busan Air will be included in the sale, and that parent Kumho Asiana's creditors will come up with detailed financing plan before April 25.
Since any plans to take over the carrier are still in their infancy, it will take at least six months to find out who is really in the running.
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