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Korea Express Falls as Lotte Group Drops Out of Bid for Stake

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Korea Express Falls as Lotte Group Drops Out of Bid
A Korea Express Co. employee carries a parcel in front of a delivery truck at the company's terminal in Seoul. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Korea Express Co. fell in Seoul trading after Lotte Group dropped its bid for a controlling stake in the country’s largest logistics company.

Korea Express lost 1.2 percent to 129,000 won as of 10:19 a.m. in Seoul, the lowest intraday level since June 23, after declining as much as 4.2 percent. The nation’s benchmark Kospi index advanced 1.3 percent.

Asiana Airlines Inc. and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., the biggest shareholders of Korea Express, plan to sell about 40 percent of the Seoul-based company. Posco, South Korea’s largest steelmaker, and Samsung SDS Co., a unit of the nation’s biggest industrial group, submitted a bid yesterday, as did foodmaker CJ Group.

“More buyers would have meant higher bidding prices for Korea Express,” said Jung Yun Jin, an analyst at Kyobo Securities Co. in Seoul, said by telephone. “Finding a buyer will help Korea Express grow its businesses.”

The Posco-Samsung Group offered to pay more than 170,000 won a share for about 40 percent of Korea Express, Maeil Business Newspaper said, citing a senior Posco official it didn’t identify. That’s 30 percent more than yesterday’s closing price of 130,500 won. CJ Group didn’t reveal its offer.

Korea Express 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, according to its website. The company also operates small bulk carriers and barges.

Korea Development Bank and Nomura Holdings Inc. are arranging the sale.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net

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

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