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Family feud at Hanjin escalates with complaint to FSS

Bando chairman reportedly demands honorary post

Bando E&C Chairman Kwon Hong-sa (Bando E&C)
Bando E&C Chairman Kwon Hong-sa (Bando E&C)

Hanjin KAL, holding company of South Korea’s flagship carrier Korean Air, complained to the Financial Supervisory Service on Tuesday, calling for a probe into “violations” of the Capital Market Act, amid the succession battle between siblings at the conglomerate.

The company said that the alliance involving Hanjin Group heiress Cho Hyun-ah, Korea Corporate Government Improvement and Bando Engineering and Construction, have falsely posted equity statements that breach the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act.

In October 2019, Bando E&C posted that it acquired over 5 percent of Hanjin KAL stocks for investment purposes, highlighting the close relationship of its Chairman Kwon Hong-sa and late Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho.

Since then, the company has been increasing its stake to the current 8.28 percent. In January, the company reported the stake increase was intended to participate in management decisions.

Hanjn KAL claims Bando Chairman Kwon already held a clear intention to exercise influence on business administration but failed to clarify it until January. Kwon has also allegedly demanded the company to appoint him as honorary chairman in August and December.

“Such a breach of law by Bando E&C and KCGI damages the fairness and credibility and disturbs the market order,” a Hanjin KAL official said.

Hanjin KAL asked FSS to dispose of the 3.28 percent of stock owned by Bando -- to limit its voting share to 5 percent.

Bando E&C refuted the claims.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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