The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Queue lengthens for Daewoo assets

New Delhi, Dec. 19 (PTI): Ashok Leyland-Sundaram Clayton combine, Rico Auto and Machino Plastics have placed bids to acquire assets of beleaguered Daewoo Motors India. The bidding process for the automaker has been extended as firms like Tata Engineering, Ford and Jay Bharat Maruti Group have expressed interest to examine the assets.

About seven domestic and international companies, mainly from the auto component sector, have either evinced interest or placed bids for Daewoo, which was put on sale through an auction on November 22 following its inability to repay debts amounting to Rs 1,000 crore to three financial institutions (FIs) — ICICI, IDBI and Exim Bank.

Sources close to the process said the FIs and banks have decided to extend the date for submission of the bids, which expired on December 18. They would soon announce a fresh date to provide more time to the companies to evaluate Daewoo.

They said auto component maker and TVS group company Sundaram Clayton has put in a joint bid with leading truck maker and Hinduja group flagship Ashok Leyland.

Rico Auto industries, a Rs-500 crore firm which supplies auto components to global automakers like General Motors, Ford and Jaguar, has also put in a bid.

The third firm, which has bid for Daewoo is Machino Plastics, a joint venture between Maruti Udyog, Suzuki Corp of Japan and the M D Jindal Group.

When contacted, a Telco spokesperson confirmed that the auto major has written a letter to the FIs expressing interest but asserted that “the company has not put in any bid”.

A Ford India official also confirmed that the firm was “interested in some of the machineries of Daewoo”. However, it was still continuing the evaluation.

A debt recovery tribunal in Mumbai had on November 22 invited bids from prospective buyers for Daewoo Motors India.

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