Korean Air Lines (Korean Air), the flag carrier of South Korea, reached an agreement with two country’s investment companies. According to the signed memorandum of understanding (MoU), a preferred bidder will buy a 100% stake in the air carrier’s wholly-controlled yacht marina asset in Incheon, South Korea.
On November 30, 2020, Korean Air signed an agreement with Consus Asset Management and Mirae Asset Daewoo, two investment companies related to Wangsan yacht marina asset sale in Incheon. The airline decided to sell a 100% stake in Wangsan Leisure Development, an operator of Wangsan Marina, which is wholly-controlled by the airline. If the purchase succeeds, Korean Air would gain up to $117 million (KRW130 billion), reported local media.
The decision to sell the yacht marina was a part of a series of Korean Air asset divestments in order to repay the state borrowings received at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020. On April 24, 2020, Korean Air borrowed $1.08 billion (KRW1.2 trillion) from the Korea Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, two government-owned lenders. The financial injection let two creditors hold a 10,8% of Korean Air’s stake if converted into shares.
When taking the state-backed bond, the airline committed to increasing its financial status through the sales of its assets, dividend restrictions, and job guarantees for employees of the company. In August 2020, Korean Air completed the first sale of its in-flight meal catering and a duty-free asset to Hahn & Co, a local private equity firm. Through the sales deal, the airline managed to raise almost $895 million (KRW990 billion). It was counted that three main the airline’s business divisions that might be put on sale, were worth a total of $5.5 billion (KRW6 trillion) in assets.
In addition to the recently signed MoU related to yacht marina sale, Korean Air considers selling its wholly-owned real properties and land areas, including a private residence in Jeju Island as well as a 36,600 sq.m. greenfield in central Seoul.