South Korea’s top 30 business conglomerates are locked in expensive litigation that could cost them up to 9.58 trillion won ($9.35 billion), a local corporate research firm said Thursday.
According to CEO Score, 189 listed companies belonging to the conglomerates are engaged in 5,393 lawsuits.
On average, each company was being sued for 1.8 billion won, with the total equivalent to 19 percent of the 50.5 trillion won in net profits generated by these businesses for all of 2013.
Samsung was embroiled in the most legal battles, or 43.5 percent of the total.
The country’s largest family-run conglomerate reported being engaged in 2,323 cases worth more than 2.69 trillion won. This excludes its drawn-out, high-profile lawsuit with Apple Inc. in the United States.
The bulk of Samsung’s domestic disputes are with financial institutions who took action for damages incurred when the listing of Samsung Life Insurance was delayed in 2011.
After Samsung, steelmaker POSCO has been sued for disputes involving leaked technology in 2012 that could cost the company 1 trillion won. If it loses all the legal cases, the company may have to pay damages amounting to 1.38 trillion won.
Kolon and Hyundai groups are on trial and facing damages hovering at 1 trillion won and 993 billion won, respectively.
They were followed by Daelim, Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. and Hyundai Motor Co.
CEO Score said in its latest findings that half of the 30 groups were engaged in at least one case worth more than 100 billion won. (Yonhap)