Potential buyers of Kumho Resort are trying to put together bidding consortiums among themselves to reduce financial risks from the company’s stagnant condominium business.

Strategic investors Kumho Petrochemical, Hoban Construction and Dong Yang Construction and two financial investors were named as shortlisted bidders by auction managers NH Investment & Securities and Deloitte Anjin, industry sources said on Wednesday (December 16). The final round of bidding is expected to take place in January after the shortlisted bidders conduct detailed due diligence.

Sources said the financial investors had approached major strategic investors that had operated condominium businesses to form partnerships in acquiring Kumho Resort, while some shortlisted financial investors were also talking with strategic investors.

Most of the financial investors have reportedly been attracted to Kumho Resort’s Asiana Country Club golf course, which is benefitting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and are less interested in its struggling condominium business. The condominiums at Kumho Resort are so old that a large-scale renovation is needed.

Hoban Construction is said to have attracted particular attention from financial investors, as it acquired Resom Resort in 2018 and is currently operating a condominium business. Mirae Asset Daewoo reportedly asked Hoban Construction to form a consortium before the preliminary round of bidding.

Industry sources said a financial investor that partners with Hoban Construction could emerge as a strong candidate. The construction company submitted its non-binding offer individually, but there is still a possibility it could form a consortium.

A number of financial investors also reportedly offered a partnership to Daemyung Sono Group, the operator of Vivaldi Park, before the preliminary round of bidding.

Meanwhile, some financial investors which failed to secure partnerships with a strategic investor have decided to walk away from the deal. (Reporting by Sun-young Kim)