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Maritime firms lose out in bid to take over Korea Express

Seoul: Kumho-Asiana Group, South Korea's seventh-largest conglomerate, said Friday it has signed a preliminary agreement to take over Korea Express Co., the nation's top logistics company.
The deal, reportedly valued at some 4 trillion won (US$4.2 billion), will open the door for Kumho- Asiana, which owns Asiana Airlines Inc., to expand its cargo business into the inland freight operations of Korea Express.
Kumho- Asiana will conduct a formal due diligence investigation of Korea Express by February 15, and the final contract will be signed on March 5, a group official said.
Last week, a consortium led by Kumho-Asiana's two major affiliates -- Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. and Asiana Airlines -- won the bid for Korea Express, beating maritime giants such as Hanjin Group, STX Group and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.
Korea Express has been under court receivership since 2000 after it failed to repay the debts of its parent company, Dong-ah Construction, which collapsed in financial turmoil.  [25/01/08]



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