Harim Group Selected as Preferred Bidder for HMM Co.

SEOUL - The Harim Group-led consortium has been chosen as the preferred bidder for HMM Co., South Korea's leading container shipper, as revealed by official sources on Monday. This decision marks a critical step in the privatization process of the shipping giant.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Last month, two state agencies, the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Korean Ocean Business Corp., held the final round of bidding for their controlling stake in HMM. The bidding attracted interest from the Harim-JKL Partners consortium and Dongwon Group. The Harim-led consortium reportedly proposed a bid of about 6.4 trillion won (US$4.92 billion) for the 398.8 million shares, which were previously acquired by KDB and the corporation through a debt-for-equity swap seven years ago.

Harim Group, the owner of Harim Co., the country's largest poultry-processing company, and JKL Partners, a significant private equity fund, encountered delays in the announcement of the prime bidder due to several conditions they had set for the takeover. Among these conditions was a request for the sellers to postpone converting perpetual bonds into equity for three years following the acquisition, as per industry watchers.

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