Hyundai Group firms to bid for Hyundai E&C

SEOUL (Reuters) - Trading-focused Hyundai Group said on Thursday its group firms would bid for a $2.4 billion stake in Hyundai Engineering & Construction 000720.KS put up for sale by creditors.

The contractor is the flagship company of the Hyundai conglomerate, which split into auto, heavy industry and trading groups after the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

“Our group aims to take the control of Hyundai Engineering and will bid for the stake,” a Hyundai Group spokesman said.

“But we have yet to decide whether group companies will form a consortium or separately buy the 38.5 percent stake held by creditors.”

Group firms include Hyundai Merchant Marine Corp 011200.KS, Hyundai Elevator 017800.KS, Hyundai Securities 003450.KS and North Korean tour operator Hyundai Asan.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor 005380.KS, Kia Motors 000270.KS, Hyundai Steel 004020.KS and unlisted builder Hyundai Amco, is also widely expected to bid for Hyundai Engineering, according to media reports.

Online news outlet Edaily said Hyundai Motor Group was planning to mandate Goldman Sachs GS.N for the bid.

Hyundai Motor declined to comment.

Shares in Hyundai Engineering closed unchanged at 66,500 won on Thursday, valuing the stake up for sale at around 2.85 trillion won ($2.4 billion).

BofA Merrill Lynch BAC.N and a domestic consortium of Korea Development Bank and Woori Investment & Securities have been picked to manage the sale of the contractor.

Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner