Ruias, M&M submit Ssangyong bids, Renault-Nissan drops out

The deadline for binding bids for a majority stake in troubled South Korean carmaker Ssangyong Motor Co passed today with at least two of the six interested parties abandoning the race, even as both Indian contenders, Mahindra & Mahindra and the Ruias, submitted their bids.

South Korean private equity fund Seoul Invest and a group led by the French-Japanese combine of Renault-Nissan did not submit bids for a controlling stake in Ssangyong, which has been under court-led bankruptcy protection since early 2009, by the 0600GMT deadline.
A South Korean court planned will pick preferred bidders this week, a Ssangyong spokesman said.

The decision by Renault-Nissan not to bid for Ssangyong suggests the alliance could look for another way to increase production capacity in South Korea, either through expansion of its existing Renault Samsung plant or a greenfield investment.

The Ruia Group and a South Korean company had submitted bids for the maker of the Rexton SUV, according to reports quoting Samjong KPMG and Macquarie Group Ltd, which are handling the sale.

The Ruias control tyre makers Dunlop Ltd and Falcon Tyres.

On 7 August, Mahindra said its board of directors had approved the submission of a binding bid to buy a majority stake in Ssangyong as it seeks to become a major global utility vehicle maker. Sources told the media on 5 August that the company was willing to pay up to $400 million to acquire Ssangyong, which has debts of about 740 billion won ($637.9 million).