Troubled Korean automaker Ssangyong appears closer to finalising what has been an arduous restructuring process after Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) signed a deal to purchase a 70 % stake in the company for US$464m.

The deal, which is a mix of debt and equity, was filed with the Seoul District Court in late November (the court is overseeing Ssangyong’s rehabilitation) and is expected to be completed by March 2011.

A Bae Kim & Lee team – led by partners Han Ri Bong, Oh Keum Seok, Lee Byoung Ki, Sun Hee Park, Choi Seung Jin and including foreign legal advisor Lee Sang Goo – was retained as Korean counsel to M&M.

“Mahindra, as a foreign company, was not familiar with the Rehabilitation Act, or the processes involved for an acquisition of a company under rehabilitation,” Lee said. “Accordingly, one of our major roles was to advise Mahindra on the Rehabilitation Act’s effect on the transaction and the unique legal principles and practices that are applicable to the acquisition of a company under rehabilitation.”

AZB & Partners was retained as M&M’s legal advisers as to Indian law, while Shin & Kim advised Ssangyong on the sale. Earlier this year, Shin & Kim, along with Macquarie Securities and KPMG, were successful in their tender to provide advice on the company's restructuring. Shin & Kim’s previous work for Ssangyong includes filing a petition and advice on the company’s rehabilitation proceedings. ALB

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