Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering is expected to go up for sale in the second half of this year, once the firm swings to a solid operating profit in the first half, its main creditor said on Thursday.
The long-awaited sale has been widely expected to be one of the country's top acquisition deals in 2007, after the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) sold LG Card Co. Ltd. to Shinhan Financial Group for $7.2 billion last year.
KDB and state restructuring agency KAMCO jointly own half of the world's No. 2 shipbuilder, valued at 2.5 trillion won ($2.67 billion) at the current market price, after its parent, Daewoo Group, went bankrupt under a mountain of debt in 1999.
As for Hynix Semiconductor Inc. , in which KDB and other creditors own a combined 36 percent stake worth 5.6 trillion won at market value, the governor said the stake size was seen as too big for domestic buyers to digest.
Hynix creditors had agreed to hold on to the shares until the end of 2007 to protect minority shareholders after selling a $1.5 billion stake in the world's second-largest memory chip maker last June.
KDB may also look for a buyer of Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. this year, if a debate is settled over how to treat former family shareholders in the builder when they make a bid for the company.