June 19, 2020 / 8:35 AM / 23 days ago

S.Korea's SsangYong Motor picks manager to sell Mahindra's stake

SEOUL, June 19 (Reuters) - South Korea’s SsangYong Motor has picked a manager to sell a stake held by India’s Mahindra and Mahindra, a spokesman at SsangYong said on Friday.

SsangYong is looking for a new investor and has picked Samsung Securities, which is working with its global strategic partner Rothschild, to tap the market for interest, South Korean media reported earlier on Friday.

The spokesman declined to name the adviser. Samsung Securities declined comment. Rothschild did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Mahindra, which holds a 74.65% stake in SsangYong, was not immediately available for comment.

SsangYong shares closed up 30% on Friday after the news versus a 0.4% rise in the wider market.

An executive at Mahindra said last week that it is willing to let go of its ownership stake in SsangYong.

The stake at is valued at 332 billion won ($274.59 million)as of Friday’s closing.

The automaker suffered from sluggish sales even before the spread of COVID-19 due to being increasingly sidelined in the fiercely competitive sports utility vehicle (SUV) market, and in the first quarter it marked its 13th consecutive quarterly operating loss.

SsangYong provisionally sold 31,110 vehicles during January-May this year in South Korea, down 35% from 47,731 in the same period last year. It exported 8,097 vehicles, down 21% from 10,299 in the same period last year.

$1 = 1,209.0700 won Reporting by Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin; additional reporting by Aditi Shah; editing by Jason Neely

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