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Friday, April 16, 2021

SsangYong Put Under Court Receivership

SsangYong Motor has been put under court receivership, the Seoul Bankruptcy Court said yesterday, in an attempt to rehabilitate the carmaker after majority owner, Mahindra failed to secure a buyer.

A receivership is a process or a solution that is put in place to protect a company that is in financial distress. It can be thought of as a protective umbrella, where a receiver (in this case, the Seoul Bankruptcy Court) steps in to manage the entire company, its assets, and all financial and operating decisions. While the receivership is operative, the company’s principals remain in place as material contributors, but their authority is limited.

“We plan to promote the early termination of the rehabilitation process through the completion of the M&A, such as selecting an advisor in the shortest possible time in consultation with the Seoul Bankruptcy Court,” SsangYong said in a statement.

SsangYong is burdened with high debt, and the company has said its 2020 vehicle sales fell more than 20 percent from a year earlier to 107,416 vehicles due to COVID-19-related economic slowdowns. Since then, Mahindra has looked to other parties to take over its stake. At one point, this included Chery Auto which planned to use SsangYong’s Korean assembly plant to assemble cars for export to the U.S. These plans didn’t push through.

Indian automaker Mahindra, which owned 75 percent of SsangYong as of the end of last year, has been looking for a buyer for all or most of its stake, which it bought when the South Korean automaker was near-bankruptcy in 2010.

Despite the news, SsangYong in the Philippines will continue to operate as normal, as its local operations are not affected by the court-led receivership.

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