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Kumho Tire workers protest sale to Doublestar

July 14,2017
Hundreds of employees of Kumho Tire on Thursday held a rally against plans by creditors to sell the company to China’s Qingdao Doublestar.

About 750 workers held separate rallies at the company’s headquarters in Seoul and an R&D center in Yongin, Gyeonggi, demanding creditors led by the state-run Korea Development Bank stop the sales process.

“The creditors are trying to sell our company to Doublestar, which is inferior in every aspect, including size, technology and marketing, ignoring our efforts [to stop the sale],” they said in a statement. “Our clients and business partners, as well as Kumho Tire employees, are all concerned about the possibility of Doublestar closing Kumho Tire’s factories at home after securing Kumho Tire’s technology and overseas assets.”

Workers also called on creditors to allow the tire maker time to stand on its own, saying, “We are determined to do everything in our power to normalize the management of the company using the world’s top-notch technology and the global distribution networks.”

Qingdao Doublestar signed a 955 billion won ($827 million) deal in March to acquire a 42 percent stake in Kumho Tire, but the process of acquisition hit a snag over how much the Chinese company should pay for the use of the Kumho brand name.

Creditors claimed they ironed out a compromise regarding the brand usage fee. YONHAP