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A Seoul court today ordered all assets of troubled Kia Motors Corp. frozen, clearing the way for new management to take over Korea's No. 2 automaker.

The same court receivership order was issued for Kia's commercial vehicle arm, Asia Motors Corp., which is also deep in debt.

The decision is expected to end a prolonged battle between Kia and its creditor banks. The banks have said they would provide bailout loans only when court receivership was accepted.

The U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co. has a 16.9 percent share in Kia, with the rest split among Kia workers and subsidiaries.

Today's ruling freezes all assets of the two financially troubled automakers until they appoint new managers after consulting with creditors.

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