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M&M to Decide on Ssangyong after Due Diligence, Ruias Seek More Time

By Motortrend India Staff   |   08 July,2010

The P K Ruia group has said that it has sought more time to complete due diligence to acquire the bankrupt SsangYong Motor, while M&M will take a decision before the July 20 deadline for submission of bids. The P K Ruia Group and M&M are among six suitors shortlisted for buying out SsangYong Motor.

A Ruia Group spokesperson said, “We have asked for some more time to complete the due diligence. Only after getting a response from them (SsangYong), we can decide on the next step.” Deloitte is advising the Kolkata-based group in the process.

Meanwhile, M&M President (Automotive and Farm Equipment) Pawan Goenka said, “We are still doing the due diligence. We will decide before the July 20 deadline whether we should go ahead or not, and if we have to go ahead, how much should we bid for.” He, however, refused to comment on how the acquisition of SsangYong would help M&M and how much it was willing to pay for the South Korean company.

Industry analysts, however, said M&M is interested in the South Korean firm as the homegrown utility vehicle major can gain technological benefits from the range of SUVs that SM has at its disposal. SsangYong Motor, which is mainly into manufacturing of SUVs and RVs, has SUV models like ‘Rexton’, ‘Kyron’ and ‘Actyon’ and sedan ‘Chairman’. It has been estimated to be worth up to USD 500 million.

China’s SAIC Motor Corp owns 10 per cent in the troubled auto maker and about 70 per cent is held by creditors, led by state-owned Korea Development Bank. The P K Ruia Group had said a special purpose vehicle, including Dunlop India and Falcon Tyres, would be formed if it were to go ahead to bid for SsangYong Motor.

In 2008, M&M had lost out to Tata Motors in the bid to acquire the British marque JLR from Ford. Last week the domestic firm had announced picking-up of a majority stake in Reva for an undisclosed sum, giving it a foothold in the small but growing electric car industry.

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