South Korean hatmaker to buy Daewoo bus plant


SEOUL, April 1 (Reuters) - A South Korean hat company said on Tuesday it would buy a Daewoo Motor Co bus plant for 148.3 billion won ($118.6 million), one of the assets not bought by General Motors Corp when it took over the ailing firm last year.

GM, the world's largest automaker, and partners acquired a majority stake in Daewoo Motor Co last year.

But the fate of excluded assets, including the bus plant in the southern port city of Pusan, as well as scores of factories in countries ranging from Poland to India, has remained unclear.

"We will sign a contract tomorrow to buy a 100 percent stake in the Daewoo Bus plant," a company spokesman told Reuters.

The deal also includes a 60 percent stake in a Daewoo joint venture bus plant in China.

Although a hat company buying a bus plant appears a bit incongruous, Young An already owns a bus assembly plant in Costa Rica.

The firm signed a memorandum of understanding in August to buy Daewoo's Pusan plant, which can produce 7,000 buses annually.

The GM-Daewoo joint venture, which was launched last year, consists of two of Daewoo's South Korean plants, one plant in Vietnam and a number of units in Western Europe and Puerto Rico, most of them being sales units.

Shares of Daewoo Motor Sales Co , which trade as a proxy for unlisted Daewoo Motor, were up 0.6 percent at 8,000 won in mid-morning trade, outperforming a 0.45 percent decline in the broader market .

($1=1250.0 Won)



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