According to reports, a consortium led by the South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Development Corporation is the preferred bidder for a majority stake in Asiana Airlines.
The deal for the controlling stake in Asiana - South Korea's second largest airline - will have the Hyundai Development Corporation take the 31% stake in the company from the Kumho Group with an injection of USD $1.7 Billion into the carrier which has been struggling financially.
For the bidding, Hyundai formed a consortium with brokerage Mirae Asset Daewoo and was selected over other bidders including from AK Holdings - the parent company of South Korean budget airline Jeju Air. The consortium's bid for Asiana has been reported to be worth around USD $2 Billion.
Other bidders that were also considered include local activist fund Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI) and a Stone Bridge Capital-led consortium.
“Asiana will achieve the industry’s top-class financial health (after the deal),” Chung Mong-gyu, Hyundai Development chairman, told reporters after the deal was announced.
“We will make steady efforts to improve its competitiveness and corporate value by investing in new aircraft and services.”
Along with Asiana Airlines, no official statement regarding what will happen to the airline's other aviation assets – Air Busan and Air Seoul – has been made. Asiana maintains a 100% ownership of Air Seoul, while it has a majority 46% stake in Air Busan.