Bloomberg News

Woongjin Holdings Rises on Coway Stake Plan: Seoul Mover

February 07, 2012

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Woongjin Holdings Co. jumped to a three-month high in Seoul trading after saying it’s considering selling its stake in South Korea’s biggest maker of water purifiers to raise funds to support its solar business.

Woongjin, the holding company for the unlisted Woongjin Group, rallied 15 percent to 7,250 won at the close on the Korea Exchange, rising by the daily limit for a second day while the benchmark Kospi index added 0.4 percent. The stock closed at the highest level since Oct. 27.

The potential sale of the 28.4 percent stake in water purifier maker Woongjin Coway Co. would be used to foster growth in polysilicon making for solar cells and to strengthen finances across the group, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. The holding is valued at 831 billion won ($743 million), based on today’s closing price on the Korea Exchange.

“The stake sale appears to be aimed at repaying debts and supporting other group units,” Lee Hoon, an analyst with Korea Investment & Securities Co., wrote in a report today. “The sale of the Coway stake is a very aggressive attempt to restructure its business portfolio.”

Shares of Woongjin Holdings have fallen 32 percent in the past year, compared with a 4.8 percent drop in the Kospi index. Woongjin Coway shares fell 4.8 percent today to 38,000 won in Seoul.

The Woongjin Group has businesses ranging from chemicals and polysilicon manufacturing to publishing and finance.

--Editors: Brett Miller, Seyoon Kim

To contact the reporter on this story: Saeromi Shin in Seoul at sshin15@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net


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