February 13, 2015 / 12:46 AM / 4 years ago

POSCO to sell stake in construction unit to Saudi fund-Korea Economic Daily

SEOUL, Feb 13 (Reuters) - South Korean steelmaker POSCO has signed a preliminary deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to sell part of its construction unit for about 1.5 trillion won ($1.36 billion), Korea Economic Daily reported.

POSCO on Thursday signed the deal to sell a 38 percent stake plus new shares of POSCO Engineering & Construction to PIF, the newspaper said, citing investment banking sources. POSCO owns almost 90 percent of POSCO E&C.

The deal is due to be finalised next month, the report added.

POSCO planned to use some of the proceeds to build a joint construction firm with PIF, to help tap into the gas and oil plant market in Saudi Arabia. Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan were managing the deal.

A POSCO spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying only that no final decision had been made about the sale.

POSCO Chairman Kwon Oh-joon said last week that the steelmaker would be able to sell a stake in POSCO E&C soon, as part of its efforts to unload assets and cope with the steel market downturn. ($1 = 1,099.8400 won) (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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