SEOUL, South Korea (Feb. 1)—Kumho Industrial Co. has picked an investors' consortium involving JP Morgan Chase and Carlyle Group as the preferred bidder for a majority ownership stake in its Kumho Tire activities. Kumho Industrial is selling up to 80-percent control in its Kumho Tire unit, which is considered the world's 10th largest tire maker with $1.2 billion in annual sales. Kumho operates two plants in South Korea with combined annual capacity of 31 million tires, and another in China, which can make 4.6 million tires a year. The JP Morgan Chase/Carlyle bid was chosen over another joint bid from Goldman Sachs/Newbridge Capital, Kumho said. Kumho Industrial is said to be asking up to $1.5 billion for the stake. A memorandum of understanding is expected by mid-February. Neither JP Morgan nor Carlyle had commented publicly on the deal as of Feb. 1.