Creditor banks of SsangYong Cement Industrial plan to complete sale of their stakes in the country’s leading cement maker early this year, sources close to the deal said Monday.
SsangYong Cement is now 46 per cent owned by banks and Japan’s Taiheiyo Cement Corporation (TCC) and its business partners have a 30.5-percent stake. Its management is virtually controlled by TCC.
Creditor banks, including Korea Development Bank and Shinhan Bank, have been seeking to sell their stakes since the cement maker ended its debt workout programs in November last year, but the plan has been delayed.
“As early as this week, the Financial Supervisory Service is expected to complete its assessment of Ssangyong’s debts and assets. After that, the sale will speed up,’’ a source said. “Creditor banks are now finding ways to finish the sale as early as possible. The sale may be complete before July.”
Korea Development Bank, which has a 13.8 per cent stake in Ssangyong, is likely to manage the sale. Shinhan Bank has 12.45 per cent stake, Seoul Guarantee Insurance has 10.5 per cent and Korea Asset Management Corp. owns 9.3 per cent.
Ssangyong Cement began the workout plan in October 2001. Under the rehabilitation plan, the company was supposed to regain control from banks by the end of last year. Ssangyong Cement has lowered its debt-to-equity ratio to 135 per cent from 1700 per cent through the sale of Yongpyong Resort in Kangwon Province and achieved ample liquidity and improved credit, according to creditors.
Regarding the sale of their shares, the creditors are considering holding a competitive auction. “Nothing is decided for now. We will closely consult with TCC before the sale of the creditors’ stake” the source said.