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Korea's Doosan in frame for Daewoo

PLANT

THE KOREAN government has named Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction as the preferred bidder for a 51 per cent controlling stake in excavator giant Daewoo.

The bid for the stake in the £1 billionturnover manufacturer was reported to be around £870 million, about 50 per cent higher than forecast.

Doosan is a £1.4 billion turnover conglomerate involved in heavy engineering and construction.

The British arm, Euro Daewoo UK, said the change of ownership would make no difference to operations in this country.

The decision to make a Korean company both the preferred bidder and the second choice has come as little surprise to analysts, who predicted that the handful of international players in the running, including Terex, had little chance of success.

But the move will come as a blow to Daewoo's Korean workers, who had hoped to win a stake in the business.

Daewoo UK boss JJ Hyung said there was no truth in the speculation that Korean factory workers would strike in protest at the appointment of Doosan.

The government agency in charge of the sale will enter into a month-long negotiating period with Doosan and, if no agreement can be reached, negotiations will begin with under- bidder Hyosung Corporation.