Media reports in South Korea suggest that Ssangyong’s sale to prospective buyer China National Bluestar is looking more likely as the Chinese buyer appears unfazed by Korean labour opposition.

The buyer and seller of South Korea’s SsangYong Motor Co. said this week that they are confident the deal will go ahead despite continued opposition from the carmaker’s labour union.

China National Bluestar Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding at the end of last year to buy between 49% and 55.4% of the fourth-ranked South Korean carmaker for about $560 million. China’s largest petrochemicals maker agreed to include the union in discussions on Feb. 5, but the following day workers disrupted an inspection of Ssangyong Motor’s plant in Pyeontaek, about 50 miles south of Seoul.

The union wants job guarantees for workers for two years.

Suggested further reading: Ssangyong – strategic review, Q1 2004