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* Hyundai, Daewoo separately study bids for France's GTT
* Possible acquisition looms as China pressures Korean
SEOUL, Nov 22 South Korea's Hyundai Heavy
Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine
Engineering are separately looking at 1 billion euro
($1.3 billion) bids for French engineering company GTT
(Gaztransport & Technigaz), several sources with direct
knowledge of the proposed deals said.
The potential moves from the French firm that specialisese
in cargo containment systems for high-value LNG carriers comes
as China is challenging Korea as the world's leading
The sources, who could not be named due to the sensitivity
of the issue, said Hyundai and Daewoo were monitoring the
situation prior to deciding whether to bid or not. The two are
considering separate bids.
GTT's three shareholders-- GDF Suez, the world's
biggest utility by market value, French oil company Total
and U.S. private equity fund Hellman & Friedman-are
planning to sell their stakes, the sources said.
However, it was possible that
Korean shipbuilders could team up for a
joint bid to fend off Chinese threat, they added.
"If any Chinese rival shipbuilder takes over GTT, it will
negatively impact (Korean shipbuilders) in the LNG ship market,"
one source said.
GTT has core technology to build LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)
membrane containment systems, used in LNG carriers.
One source said
S outh Korean shipbuilders pay GTT around $10 million
in royalties on average for each LNG vessel . An LNG
vessel typically costs $200 million.
Korean shipyards are developing their own technology
for LNG cargo containment ,
but are far short of that provided by
the established GTT, industry sources said.
Hyundai and Daewoo declined to comment.
Total wants to sell its 30 percent stake in GTT because it
needs to secure funds by selling non-core business in the midst
of European debt crisis, another source added.
($1 = 0.743 Euros)
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by David Chance)