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Korea Express Jumps in Seoul as Samsung SDS Studies Joint Bid With Posco

Korea Express Co., the logistics company put up for sale by its biggest shareholders, surged the most in more than nine years in Seoul trading after Samsung SDS Co. said it will make a joint bid with steelmaker Posco. (005490)

Samsung SDS aims to get a 5 percent stake in Korea Express by teaming up with Posco, the closely-held information- technology unit of the nation’s largest industrial group said in a regulatory filing today. The deadline for submitting bids is June 27, said Cho Won Kang, a spokesman for Samsung SDS in Seoul.

Shares of Korea Express rose 15 percent at the 3:00 p.m. close of Seoul trading, their biggest gain since November, 2001, while the benchmark Kospi Index (KOSPI) fell 0.4 percent. Samsung SDS is seeking to buy the Korea Express stake for business partnerships, according to the filing.

“The reported interest by SDS, whose parent group needs a huge amount of logistics services as the nation’s top group, is enough to trigger excitement,” said Kang Shin Woo, chief investment officer at Seoul-based Korea Investment Management Co., which oversees $17 billion. “Investors appear to be betting that if Korea Express can have Samsung and Posco as its captive customers, it’s definitely positive.”

Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. and Asiana Airlines (020560) Inc. aim to raise as much as 2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) from the sale of a controlling stake in Korea Express, a person familiar with the situation said in March. Posco, Lotte Group and CJ Group submitted preliminary bids in March for Korea Express.

The company has terminals in South Korea’s busiest ports, a nationwide network of about 10,000 express-delivery outlets and a fleet of more than 5,000 trucks.

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