The P K Ruia group today said it has sought more time to complete due diligence to acquire bankrupt South Korean firm SsangYong Motor, while Mahindra & Mahindra will take a decision before the July 20 deadline for submission of bids.
The P K Ruia Group and Mahindra & Mahindra are among the six suitors shortlisted for buying out the South Korean firm, which has been undergoing a court-led restructuring from 2009 after suffering heavily due to the downturn in auto industry.
"We have asked for some more time to complete the due diligence. Only after getting a response from them (SsangYong), we can decide on the next step," a Ruia Group spokesperson said.
Deloitte is advising the Kolkata-based group in the process.
Meanwhile, M&M said it is still conducting its due diligence of the South Korean auto company and will decide its future course of action before the July 20 deadline for submission of bids.
"We are still doing the due diligence. We will decide before the July 20 deadline whether we should go ahead or not, and if we have to go ahead, how much should we bid for," Mahindra & Mahindra President (Automotive and Farm Equipment) Pawan Goenka said.
He, however, refused to comment on how the acquisition of SsangYong would help M&M and how much it was willing to pay for the South Korean company.
Industry analysts, however, said M&M is interested in the South Korean firm as the homegrown utility vehicle major can gain technological benefits from the range of SUVs that SM has at its disposal.
SsangYong Motor, which is into mainly manufacturing of sports utility vehicles (SUV) and recreational vehicles (RV), has SUV models like 'Rexton', 'Kyron' and 'Actyon' and sedan 'Chairman'. It has been estimated to be worth up to $500 million.
China's SAIC Motor Corp owns 10 per cent in the troubled automaker and about 70 per cent is held by creditors, led by state-owned Korea Development Bank.
The P K Ruia Group had said a special purpose vehicle, including Dunlop India and Falcon Tyres, would be formed if it were to go ahead to bid for the ailing Korean automaker.
In 2008, M&M had lost out to Tata Motors in the bid to acquire the British marque Jaguar Land Rover from Ford.
However, in the same year, M&M had bought Kinetic Motors to enter the two-wheeler market. Last week the domestic firm had announced picking-up of a majority stake in Reva for an undisclosed sum, giving it a foothold in the small but growing electric vehicles industry.