Report: Hyundai Heavy Leading Bidder for Control of Doosan Infracore

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings is the leading contender among several preliminary bidders for a majority stake in Doosan Infracore, according to a report by Korean Investors and other media outlets.

Reports of Doosan Group’s exploration of a sale of a 36% stake in its Infracore subsidiary—comprised of both Doosan’s own machines and those of the Bobcat brand which it acquired in 2007—began to surface in June of this year.

Maybe the most important detail to come from the reports surrounding Doosan Group’s reported interest in selling that stake is that it isn’t actually interested in selling control of the whole thing. The company is reportedly not including Bobcat as part of this deal.

Korean Investors says Hyundai Heavy is “touted as the strongest candidate” in the bidding for controlling stake of Doosan Infracore and has formed a consortium with financial investor KDB Investment, a unit of the state-run Korea Development Bank.

The anticipated sale of the Doosan Infracore stake is reportedly an effort by parent Doosan Group to salvage another of its subsidiaries, the debt-ridden Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. Acquired by Doosan Group in 2001, the division provides power generation and includes engineering and construction services in Doosan’s home country of South Korea.

Hyundai Heavy has been in the conversation of possible Doosan Infracore suitors, but said earlier that it would not be a bidder, reports Korean Investors. Hyundai Heavy spun off Hyundai Construction Equipment in 2017, but it is still a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.

Other bidders include South Korea-based equity firms MBK Partners and Glenwood Private Equity.

The two U.S. entities of Doosan Infracore separated their businesses on Jan. 1, 2018, after operating together for seven years. Doosan Infracore purchased Bobcat in 2007.

In its response to June reports about the pending sale,  Doosan Infracore North America issued the following statement to Equipment World: “We are aware that Doosan Group continues to explore multiple options for restructuring assets to help stabilize Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. Doosan Infracore, a wholly separate business unit from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, is on strong financial footing and has a positive growth outlook. Doosan Infracore remains focused on continuing to build on its success and reputation as a leading global equipment company.”