The plot line is bit of Days of Our Lives mixed with Succession via Bollywood, but the company once known as SsangYong is in the box seat to rescue from receivership Edison Motors, the bus manufacturer that tried to buy it last year.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, KG Mobility – as SsangYong is now known – is the preferred bidder to purchase Edison Motors and bring it out of receivership, effectively flipping the script from a few years ago.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, SsangYong’s majority shareholder Mahindra decided the Korean automaker needed to pay its own way.
After giving it a small cash gift to tide it over for a while, SsangYong was cut adrift and told to find some new parents. With lockdowns, supply chain problems, and economic uncertainty in the air, no suitable saviours came forward and the smallest Korean carmaker filed for bankruptcy protection.
Edison Motors was chosen as the bankruptcy court’s preferred bidder for SsangYong in October 2021, and it soon agreed to pay 304.8 billion won (A$331 million) to purchase the SUV and crossover specialist.
By March 2022 the takeover was on the rocks. Not only did the two companies disagree on management rights and technology sharing, but Edison failed to meet its payment obligations. As a result the court invalidated Edison’s takeover, and called for fresh bidders.
SsangYong was successfully bought by KG, a Korean steel and chemicals conglomerate, in mid-2022 for about $1 billion. It has since been renamed KG Mobility, although the rebrand has yet to flow through to Australia and other overseas markets.
It’s unclear what KG’s plans are for Edison, and it remains to be seen if there are going to be good development, technology, production and procurement between the bus maker and car company.
Also unknown is how much KG will pay for Edison. The court is likely to sanction a stalking horse bid method for the sale of Edison. As preferred bidder, KG will submit a bid for Edison before the company is put for up auction.
Should any companies offer more for Edison at the auction, KG can decide whether or not it wants to trump that bid. The auction is expected to take place in May.