Edison Motors Acquires the Troubled Ssangyong Motors

The small company producing electric buses is acquiring the automaker in a consortium with a private equity fund.

Edison Motors Acquires the Troubled Ssangyong Motors

On January 10, Edison Motors 에디슨 모터스 finalized the contract to acquire Ssangyong Motors 쌍용자동차 out of bankruptcy for KRW 304.8b (USD 256.8m).

Ssangyong, South Korea’s fourth largest automaker, has had a long history of financial troubles dating back to the 1997 East Asian Financial Crisis. The harrowing journey of Ssangyong Motors’ workers, who faced mass layoffs, brutal strike-breaking crackdown and a wave of suicides, was chronicled in the best selling nonfiction book Musical Chairs 의자놀이 and inspired the main character Gi-hun 기훈 in the Netflix series Squid Game 오징어게임. Edison Motors acquired Ssangyong from yet another bankruptcy from April 2021. (See previous coverage, “Ssangyong Motors Bankrupt Again.”)

Edison, a mid-sized company specializing in the production of electric buses, is a surprising bidder for Ssangyong: in 2020, Edison’s revenue was KRW 89.7b (USD 75.6m), while Ssangyong revenue for the same year was KRW 2.9t (USD 2.4b). For the acquisition, Edison formed a consortium with Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI), a private equity fund that will receive between 34 and 49% of the shares in Ssangyong.

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