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Morgan Stanley Unit Top Bidder for Daewoo Electronics

A unit of U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley was named as a top bidder to buy South Korean appliance and television maker Daewoo Electronics, a leading creditor for Daewoo said on Friday.

Daewoo, a former unit of the failed Daewoo Group, was put up for sale for a second time after creditors last year scrapped a proposed $746 million sale to a foreign consortium.

Talks with a consortium of India's Videocon Industries and RHJ International, the holding company of U.S. buyout fund Ripplewood, fell through due to a price disagreement.

Woori Bank, a leading Daewoo creditor, said Morgan Stanley PE got the highest score among bidders in the new sale round, launched in November.

Woori did not give a bid price or identify other contenders. Local media reported previously that those who submitted final bids were all foreign financial investors, and included Ripplewood this time bidding on its own.

Creditors are expected to sign a final contract with Morgan Stanley PE by end-May, Woori Bank said in a statement.

Unlisted Daewoo was placed under a debt rescheduling program after its parent group went bankrupt in 1999. After restructuring, the company now focuses on TVs, air conditioning units and refrigerators.

The company had drawn little interest among Korean companies as it competes with low-priced Chinese producers and bigger domestic brands Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

One of its latest purchases was a $1 billion deal to buy a Seoul office building from Daewoo Engineering and Construction.