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Ssangyong takeover bid imminent

After months of negotiations with preferred bidder National Bluestar Group Corp. of China, Ssangyong's creditor banks expect a final bid today, report Korean media.

Bluestar was chosen as the preferred bidder for a controlling 55.4% stake in Ssangyong Motor, which 27 creditors have been running since the collapse of its parent Ssangyong Group in 1998. The stake is reportedly likely to cost Bluestar between $600 million and $700 million, and the deal is expected to be completed by May this year. The deal would represent China's single largest case of foreign direct investment, and has required government authorisation, preceded by Chinese government officials' visit to Ssangyong's plant last month.

The Bluestar bid initially attracted hostility from Ssangyong's workforce, but it has reportedly softened its stance since the prospective change of ownership was first announced.

Assuming British importer of the Rexton SUV SYUK Ltd. retains its contract, the Bluestar takeover will represent the first sales of a Chinese-owned manufacturer in the UK.

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