Six investors submitted non-binding offers during the first round of bidding on Wednesday (December 9) for a 100% stake in Kumho Resort, the leisure arm of South Korea’s Kumho Asiana Group, but industry sources said that not all are committed to buying the company.

The bidders include Kumho Petrochemical, Hoban Construction and private equity firms. NH Investment & Securities and Deloitte Anjin, which are running the auction process for Kumho Resort, reportedly provided access to a virtual data room for 10 potential buyers last month for their preliminary due diligence. KT Corp was also among the firms that completed preliminary due diligence, but it eventually decided to pull out.

Kumho Resort’s operations have attracted a mixed response, industry watchers said. While potential buyers have shown strong interest in the company’s golf course business due to flow-on benefits from the Covid-19 pandemic, the lodging operations have make it a less attractive target because the facilities are old and earnings are weak.

The shortlist will be announced soon, with the final round of bidding expected to be held early next year. However, it is uncertain whether the shortlisted bidders will remain in the race after conducing a thorough due diligence, industry watchers said.

“Some potential buyers might have participated in the bidding process without a strong desire to buy the company,” said an industry insider. (Reporting by Seon-young Kim and Byung-yoon Kim)