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March 16, 2017

Doublestar poised to take over Kumho Tire

China’s Qingdao Doublestar Group has confirmed earlier media reports it is looking to buy a 42.1% stake in South Korean tyre-maker Kumho Tire Company.

China's Qingdao Doublestar Group has confirmed earlier media reports it is looking to buy a 42.1% stake in South Korean tyre-maker Kumho Tire Company.

The Shenzen-based company said it had offered Kumho's creditors, which include state-owned Korea Development Bank, KRW955bn (US$844m) for their combined stake. 

The deal is expected to go through unless the chairman of parent company Kumho Asiana Group exercises his preemptive right to purchase the stake within 30 days, according Doublestar Group.

The Chinese company's executives are currently in South Korea to push the deal though.

Kumho Tire was placed under a creditor-led debt work-out programme in 2009 after the company suffered a liquidity crisis following its acquisition of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company.

Doublestar Group, founded in 1921, is one of China's largest sports shoe manufacturers. It expanded into the tyre business over a decade ago with the acquisition of local tyre manufacturers Huaqing Tire Company and Dongfeng Tire Company.

The company supplies tyres to local car manufacturers including Geely Automobile, Chery Automobile and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile, and claims to have built the world's first 'smart" plant for commercial vehicle tyres last year. 

It exports mainly tyres for off-road vehicles but the acquisition of Kumho would massively accelerate its international development by providing it with a strong brand, established distribution channels, significant production capacity in China and overseas as well as advanced technology.

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