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SKT to become sole bidder for chipmaker Hynix

Telecom giant may gain upper hand in price negotiations with Hynix creditors


SK Telecom is expected to become the sole bidder for the world’s second biggest computer memory chipmaker Hynix although the bidding process was seemingly deferred twice to trigger competition.

According to industry sources, lead manager Credit Suisse has delivered statements on how to take part in Hynix bidding to about 12 large firms, but none of them have yet responded.

The outlook for increased competition looks grim since only a two-week term is left for the new bidder’s preliminary due diligence, whereas SKT had up to seven weeks to go through with the process.

“It seems Okay to say there are no other candidates than SKT when excluding those with financial difficulties or firms that already have declared they will not participate in the bidding among the 12 large companies,” a financial industry source was quoted as saying.

The event takes place as the bidding was deferred about two weeks from Oct. 24 to Nov. 10 with a goal of encouraging competition.

Earlier last month, STX Group pulled out of the bid for Hynix acquisition citing an unstable economic outlook and the heavy investments Hynix takeover would require.

As a result, Hynix creditors delayed the bidding process to Nov. 3 and then once more to Nov. 10 due to concerns involving fairness and transparency on the sole-bidding case.

This is not the first time Hynix creditors have made attempts to sell their shares of Hynix. Creditors had tried to make a sale to a U.S.-based company in 2002, but plans were scrapped.

Then Hynix was put up for sale again in 2009, with the plan falling apart over concerns that the sole bidder Hyosung Group was given preferential treatment.

The sale of Hynix is projected to be finalized by January of next year under conditions that the price negotiation is carried out smoothly.

News reports said the sole bidding means SKT may gain an upper hand in price negotiations with Hynix creditors.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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