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Mumbai: Mahindra & Mahindra said on Saturday its board have directors had approved submission of a binding bid to buy a majority stake in troubled South Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor as it seeks to become a major global utility vehicles maker.

It did not, however, reveal any financial details.

The last date for submitting the bids is Tuesday, 10 August.

On Thursday, sources told Reuters the company was willing to pay up to $400 million for acquiring Ssangyong.

Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicles maker, is among six bidders shortlisted for cash-trapped Ssangyong, which has been under court-led restructuring since early 2009.

Other bidders include Renault-Nissan alliance and Kolkata-based Ruia group.

Mahindra is in the process of becoming a diversified player in the automotive sector and has been steadily making small acquisitions.

Earlier this year it bought out French partner Renault’s stake in a joint venture, which made no-frills Logan sedans in India.

Just a few days later, it entered into an agreement to buy a majority stake in Indian electric carmaker Reva Electric Car Co to enter the small, but rapidly growing, electric car sector.

With cash reserves of close to 20 billion rupees and a debt to equity ratio of 0.4, analysts feel that the company can easily raise the required funds to make the acquisition.

Assuming a deal value in the region of $400 milion, Mahindra’s debt to equity ratio is not expected to exceed 0.7, analysts said.

This acquisition will allow Mahindra get access to technology, which can be used for its own product portfolio, which includes its flagship Scorpio, a version of which will shortly be launched in the United States.

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