Just when we thought that no more was going to come over the repeated rumours that Electrolux was still looking at snapping up Daewoo Electronics, out comes the news that not only are Electrolux still sniffing around looking for a deal, so are others according to reports this morning.
According to Reuters and others, Electrolux is said to be among three bidders who have made a binding bid to acquire the South Korean home appliance maker, said the usual "source with knowledge of the matters".
South Korea's construction-to-fiber SM Group was also one of the bidders, the source said, while Dongbu CNI said in a regulatory filing its parent Dongbu Group had submitted a joint bid with a financial investor.
This is now the sixth time Daewoo's creditors, including Woori Bank and state-run Korea Asset Management Corp have tried to offload the washing machine and refrigerator manufacturer through a sale.
The source did not give financial details of Electrolux's and SM Group's bids. Local media previously estimated the sale value will be around 300 billion won (£168 million). Creditors plan to choose a preferred bidder as early as this week and sign a stock purchase agreement by October, the source said indicating that this deal could happen quite quickly or, that it may already be almost in the bag as it were.
According to Daewoo, the company reported yearly net losses since 2008 due to restructuring costs such as liquidating unprofitable overseas units, despite maintaining yearly operating profits of between 5 billion won and 40.1 billion won.
Lately however analysts have said that Daewoo has been building up market share in Latin America and Africa despite a dearth of investment in research and development.
"In terms of business synergy, Electrolux would be well-positioned to acquire daewoo," said Soh Hyun-cheol, head of corporate analysis at Shinhan Investment Corp. "Electrolux has little market share in emerging markets where daewoo has a good track record. However, Daewoo's creditors are expected to primarily pay attention to pricing."
So the overtones of what's been said (and what we've heard on the grapevine) would seem to indicate that Electrolux is the preferred bidder for daewoo.