Pantech has located a new owner after a series of twists and turns. The number three smartphone maker in Korea is aiming at a resurgence by operating overall ICT businesses across Southeast Asia.
According to an industry source on July 17, a consortium led by Optis, a local optical manufacturer, signed a deal to take over Pantech, which has made every effort to find investors since it filed for court receivership in Aug. last year.
The deal came about two months after Pantech asked the Seoul Central District Court to stop the receivership in May, casting much doubt on the possibility of the debt-stricken company's revival. In June, however, the Optis consortium expressed an interest in buying the company and signed a takeover agreement.
A detailed discussion of corporate rehabilitation processes is expected to be finalized in Aug. at the earliest, and the results will be submitted to creditors, according to the source.
Solid, a South Korean telecoms device maker listed on the KOSDAQ, also joined the consortium on July 16, becoming the largest shareholder in the acquired company with an investment of 6 billion won (US$5.2 million). The company is doing broadcasting and telecommunications businesses in America, Europe, and the Middle East. Its sales figures exceeded 200 billion won (US$174 million) last year.
Optis is set to sell high-end IT products in the Indonesian market by incorporating Pantech's technology and brand value. Optis has been known to succeed in setting up a manufacturing line in the Philippines.
“Solid and Optis, both of which have strong presences in overseas markets, will create a strong synergy with Pantech having global-level handset manufacturing technologies and experience,” said Byeon Yang-kyoon, CEO of Optis. Byeon was a former presidential chief secretary for national policy in 2006, and was inaugurated to head Optis in June this year.
Once the Seoul District Court approves the deal, the consortium will pay an acquisition cost to finalize the deal. The exact acquisition cost has yet to be decided, but the cost would be reportedly around 40 billion won (US$34.9 million). The new company is rumored to plan to hire over 400 new employees to add to the 1,200 existing ones.