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MBK Partners Initiates Share Purchase Bid for Hankook & Company, Signaling Potential Family Feud Revival

South Korea
h 000240.KO Mid and Small Cap 2000
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Korea’s major private equity fund operator, MBK Partners, has joined forces with Hankook & Company advisor Hyun-sik Cho in a strategic move to publicly purchase shares, raising concerns about a revival of family feuds over management rights. Ventura Co., an MBK Partners-related special purpose company, declared its intention to publicly purchase 20.35% to 27.32% of Hankook & Company’s shares, emphasizing its goal to enhance corporate governance through mergers and acquisitions.

Ventura secured a 29.54% stake through a shareholder agreement with Advisor Cho and Honorary Chairman Cho’s second daughter. If the public offer succeeds, Ventura could gain more than half (50.0-57.0%) of the shares, potentially surpassing Chairman Cho’s 42.03% stake and acquiring management rights. The tender offer, set at 20,000 won per share, will run until the 24th.

MBK Partners and Advisor Cho have established conditions to jointly exercise voting rights and restrict the sale of stocks to third parties without mutual consent. The move comes amidst legal challenges faced by Chairman Cho, who was recently indicted on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. MBK Partners asserts its intent to enhance Korea & Company’s corporate value through improved governance and a professional management system.

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