SEOUL - Renault SA plans to buy a 10 percent stake held by creditor banks in its South Korean unit, Renault Samsung Motors Inc, to strengthen its strategic direction, the Maeil Business Newspaper said on Monday.
Citing Jerome Stoll, chief executive of the unlisted Korean unit, the Tuesday edition of Maeil also said the company was considering introducing Renault's luxury passenger cars into the Korean market, while spending more than 360 billion won ($302 million) between 2003 and 2005 for research and development.
The report did not say how much Renault Samasung would spend on the share buy-back. The company posted a record 1.78 trillion won in 2002 sales, up 60 percent from a year ago.
Renault SA took over the former auto unit of South Korea's Samsung Group in September 2000 and holds a 70.1 percent stake.
Renault Samsung sells only two passenger car models in South Korea -- the SM5 and the SM3 -- both based on Nissan Motor Co. designs.