Posco can bid again if the current bidding process fails to pick a preferred suitor
South Korea's top steelmaker POSCO may be able to join a fresh bidding for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. if a prime bidder is not chosen later this week, the chief of Korea Development Bank (KDB) said Tuesday.
Two local companies - Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Hanwha Group - have made bids for a controlling stake in the world's No. 3 shipbuilder now up for sale.
KDB and state asset manager Korea Asset Management Corp. hold a combined 50.37 per cent interest.
"Legal reviews show that POSCO can bid again if the current bidding process fails to pick a preferred suitor," KDB chairman Min Euoo-sung told lawmakers during a parliamentary audit.
He, however, said KDB will be able to pick a preferred bidder around Friday or Saturday if there is no problem.
The state-run policy bank on Thursday disqualified POSCO as a potential buyer for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, taking issue with its qualifications.
POSCO formed a consortium with GS Group, an energy and construction conglomerate, to make a joint bid for the controlling stake but the group backed out at an the eleventh hour, rendering the steel giant ineligible.
Some market analysts estimate the value of the stake at over US$5 billion.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering was placed under a debt workout program in August 1999 after its parent Daewoo Group collapsed under heavy debts.