New Hurdles May Arise In Daewoo Takeover

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The planned $3.2 billion acquisition of most of the assets of Daewoo Electronics by Walid Alomar & Associates, a California investment group, may have some new wrinkles in the wake of a management takeover of the Korean company by its bankers.

Daewoo Electronics, along with Daewoo Heavy Industries and Daewoo Telecom, were all put under operating control of creditor banks with the approval of Korea's Financial Supervisory Commission. The action, taken early this month, is designed to guarantee the availability of operating funds to the debt-heavy subsidiaries of the financially troubled Daewoo Group.

According to reports from Korea, Hanvit Bank, the company's main creditor, will now handle negotiations for the sale of most of the assets of Daewoo Electronics. Hanvit said it expects a report on the takeover proposal from Walid Alomar, and that it plans a detailed examination of the purchase proposal and the investment firm's funding status, including just how it plans to pay for the assets.

Last month Alomar signed a letter of intent to acquire the Korean, European and North American assets of Daewoo Electronics. Daewoo Group will be left with operations in China and Eastern Europe, as well as the remaining $1.3 billion of the electronics businesses $4.5 billion debt. At that time Alomar said it was looking to close on the transaction right after Labor Day, but any such near-term deadline now seems to be well out of reach.

The cash infusion from Alomar, when it comes, will do little to ease Daewoo Groups' $47.7 billion debt load as it only owns about 15% of the electronics company.

Meanwhile, to ensure the liquidity of Daewoo Electronics pending the completion of a sale, Hanvit is making $150 million in trade financing loans available to the manufacturer.

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