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June 13, 2020

Mahindra Gives Up on SsangYong Motor

Mahindra plans to give up control of struggling South Korean unit SsangYong Motor, the Indian automaker’s managing director said, as it looks to exit money-losing ventures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“SsangYong needs a new investor. We are working with the company to see if we can secure investment,” said Managing Director Pawan Goenka.

Mahindra, which owns a 75 percent stake in SsangYong, rescued the SUV maker from near insolvency in 2010 but has struggled to revive its fortunes. The company said in April it would not invest further in SsangYong.

“If a new investor comes on board, that automatically takes our stake down, or they may even buy our stake,” Mahindra Deputy Managing Director Anish Shah said.

As part of a wider restructuring effort by the company to cut costs and prioritize capital expenditure as it rides out the pandemic, Mahindra would review all its money-losing businesses over the next 12 months, Shah said.

Where there is no clear path to profitability it would look for a partnership or close down those businesses, but in those that can clearly generate equity returns of 18 percent or those that are of strategic importance, Mahindra would continue to invest, Shah said.

Mahindra, which entered into a joint venture with Ford last year, said the pandemic had delayed the completion of merger formalities between the two companies but they continued to work together under the new alliance.

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