Hyundai Motor Picked as Preferred Bidder for South Korea's Largest Builder

Hyundai Motor Group was named the preferred bidder for a controlling stake in Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., South Korea’s largest builder, after a rival bid lost its prime status over a dispute on financing.

Korea Exchange Bank and other owners of the 35 percent holding chose the company as prime bidder and will sign a memorandum of understanding next week, the bank said today in a statement. The shareholders expect to complete the sale by early April, according to the statement.

The selection brings Hyundai Motor, parent of South Korea’s largest automaker, a step closer to realizing a plan to invest 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion) in the builder to help boost sales fivefold in a decade. The decision is also a victory over rival Hyundai Group, which had its initial selection as prime bidder overturned because it didn’t satisfy requests for information about financing.

Hyundai Group had bid about 5.5 trillion won for the stake, beating an offer from Hyundai Motor Group by about 410 billion won, according to comments made by Judge Choi Sung Joon at a Dec. 24 hearing on the rejection of the initial preferred bid.

Hyundai Motor group said today in a statement that it will work with shareholders to complete the acquisition.

Hyundai Motor Group’s listed unit Hyundai Motor Co. gained 2.1 percent to close at a record 198,000 won in Seoul before the announcement. Hyundai Engineering advanced 2.1 percent to 82,000 won.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net; Sookyung Seo in Seoul at sseo10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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