Hite Brewery's takeover of Jinro is all set to be sealed within the next few days, according to local reports. Speaking to the Yonhap News Agency yesterday (23 May), a senior official with Hite said that a formal agreement on the acquisition of the distiller will be signed by the end of May.

"The main contract may be concluded at the end of this month as both sides are ironing out differences without a hitch," the official, who declined to be named, told the agency.

A consortium led by Hite has been conducting due diligence on Jinro since it was selected to buy the distiller on 1 April for KRW3.2 trillion (US$3.16bn). The due diligence has valued Jinro's assets at KRW900bn, including KRW400bn in cash and land and machinery equipment worth KRW500bn, the source said.

"The final price may be little different from the bid," he said. "Of the total, KRW3 trillion will be used to repay Jinro's debts, with the remainder likely to be spent on funding the company's operation."