Kumho Industrial, the largest shareholder of Asiana Airlines, says its board has decided to sell its 33.4-7 percent stake in the airline, as part of the group's plan to stave off a liquidity crisis.
In a statement on Monday, the group said the decision was made to sell the controlling stake so the group and the airline can regain market trust.
The carrier's subsidiaries, including Air Busan, Asiana IDT and others will be sold together as a package.
Kumho Industrial's stake is worth nearly 265-million U.S. dollars, but adding in premiums for the managing rights of the subsidiaries, the total value of the deal is expected to top 880-million US dollars.
According to Korea Development Bank, the group's main creditor, Kumho's former Chairman Park Sam-koo had requested over 440-million dollars in loans in return for selling the carrier.
The group's decision to sell its controlling stake in Asiana Airlines comes amid a group liquidity crisis, as its debts continue to rack up.
At the end of last year, Kumho Asiana Group's total liabilities stood at over three billion dollars, with almost half due to be paid back by the end of this year.
However, the most urgent debt is nearly 53 million dollars in bonds that are due by April 25th.
If Kumho Asiana Group fails to repay on time, its credit rating will drop to junk level.
So far local conglomerates SK, Hanwha and CJ are among a number of corporations being mentioned as potential buyers for Asiana.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.