Onbid Attracts Many Bidders
- KAMCO's Website channels sale of public properties thru biddings

The Korea Asset Management Corp.(KAMCO) opened its online auction Website(www.onbid.co.kr) in October, 2002, to provide one-stop service to its potential bidders of properties put on auction block.
Onbid provides information not only on KAMCO assets to be put on auction, but also includes those of state-organizations, local governments, and public corporations ranging from apartments, factories, and land to golf equipment, condominium memberships, securities, vehicles, parking lots, to ownership rights to small stores in subway stations, among others.
Early last month, the Website sold Seoul City's Yeomiji botanical garden located in Jeju Island through public bidding for 55.3 billion won. As of the end of last month, onbid was used by some 1,500 public organizations and 150,000 membership holders for monthly average of 500,000. Up until now, some 110,000 properties have been put on bid with 10,000 of them sold to bidders for 550 billion won. From this year, all state organizations are required to sell state properties through onbid as facilitated by the revised Law on State Properties.
The success of onbid is owed to the fact that prospective bidders can have information on properties and biddings online saving time and expenses with confidentiality guaranteed.
Public organizations have been able to boost fairness and transparency of their auction businesses and dispose of the properties quickly saving expenses and raising their public trust.
KAMCO has been helping those who are not familiar with online bidding by guides at their local branch offices across the country. For information call(02)3420-5555.
Contenders in what has been touted as one of Asia's hottest takeover deals are gradually emerging for the auction of top soju maker Jinro Co.
CJ Corp., Korea's largest processed foods company, is the latest to officially announce its interest in submitting a bid. The company recently disclosed it is considering a consortium to acquire the debt-ridden distiller of Korea's rice-based liquor.
CJ Corp. spokesman Kim Tae-sung said Japan's Kirin Brewery Co. could be one partner.
"We are now planning to form a consortium with both domestic and foreign companies, but nothing has been formalized yet," he said, declining to give exact number of partners. CJ Corp., which also specializes in the movie and entertainment sector, said it wants Jinro to strengthen its food business line.
Jinro commands 55-57 percent of the domestic soju market. It seeks a new owner with the ability and interest in normalizing operations and further growing the company.
Hite Brewery Co., the nation's largest brewer, formally revealed its intensions early this month in the Economist magazine. Park Moon-deok, chairman of Hite, said he would be able to create synergy in the industry by joining together a beer business with a soju distiller. The beer company also said an acquisition would be possible only through a consortium, given the lofty value placed on Jinro.
"A joint acquisition would be the most sensible way. If Jinro is worth more than 2 trillion won, it would be very difficult for one company to fork over that much money," said spokesman for Hite Brewery. Doosan Corp., a major liquor distributor, also reiterated its interest and said it is in the middle of working out an acquisition plan.
Taihan Electric Wire Co., the largest secured creditor of Jinro, recently reinforced its interest. The cable-wire company declared that it wants to normalize and further strengthen the spirits company now under court receivership by adopting it as a core business, contrary to all speculation that Taihan is only fixed on recouping its debt. It too is seeking to form a consortium.
Jinro was placed in receivership in May, 2003 and is due to be auctioned this month or next. There is a big gap in valuations assigned by the commercial and financial sectors. The lowest valuation is 1.7 trillion won and the highest 3 trillion won.Other possible domestic bidder is Lotte Group, which has a joint venture with Japan's Asahi Brewery. nw

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