SEOUL -- Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH has expressed interest in buying South Korea's top auto parts maker, Mando Corp., a local report said on Thursday.
JP Morgan Partners and Affinity Equity Partners, a spin-off from Swiss bank UBS AG, have been considering selling their 72.3 percent stake in unlisted Mando, which they bought for $446 million in 2000, a Mando spokesman said on Tuesday.
"Although not finalized, it is true that our German head office was considering buying Mando," Heinz Grewe, president of Bosch's Korean operations, was quoted as saying by the Hankook Ilbo newspaper on its Web site. He gave the translated comments at a technology fair held in Seoul. "I am aware the largest shareholders of Mando have recently sent a letter to our headquarters to sound us out on the sale."
Bosch Korea officials were not immediately available for comment.
The value of the deal was not known. The Financial Times has reported the prospective sale might fetch as much as $1.5 billion to $2 billion.
Mando supplies car parts to South Korea's two top automakers, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., which are also Bosch's biggest Korean customers.