SEOUL Jan 9 Hyundai Heavy Industries
, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering
and Samsung Heavy Industries are mulling
a joint bid for French engineering company GTT (Gaztransport &
Technigaz) valued at 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion), sources
said on Monday.
The sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters
that the Korean shipbuilders were in discussions to team up to
bid for the French firm, which specialises in cargo containment
systems for high-end LNG carriers and is likely to attract
offers from China, South Korea's shipbuilding industry rival.
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.
"Should a Chinese firm take over the company, it would be a
challenge in the LNG ship market, where Korean players have the
upper hand currently," one source said
Spokespeople at Hyundai, Daewoo and Samsung declined to
($1 = 0.7865 euros)
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)