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Harim nears Pan Ocean acquisition

South Korean poultry processor Harim Corp. is set to wrap up its purchase of Pan Ocean Co. after creditors and shareholders on Friday approved a rescue plan for the country's biggest bulk carrier.
  

Harim, which sources most of its grain demand through imports, had been selected as the preferred bidder of the deal, which it anticipates will cut shipping costs. The food firm submitted 1.08 trillion won ($9.7 billion) for the acquisition earlier this week.
  

Pan Ocean, formerly known as STX Pan Ocean Co., has been under court receivership since June 2013 and was put up for sale in March last year. It was split from STX Group as the parent firm suffered a severe credit crunch.
  

In a vote held at a Seoul court Friday morning, 87 percent of the creditors and 61.6 percent of the shareholders approved Pan Ocean's rescue plan on the condition that Harim takes over the firm.
  

Harim is set to dispatch a task force for the acquisition next week, with plans to wrap up the acquisition next month. The move requires court approval.
  

With the acquisition, Harim's assets are estimated to surpass 5 trillion won, a condition which will bring the company under stricter regulation by the antitrust watchdog. The Fair Trade Commission releases its latest list of "large corporations" with an asset size of over 5 trillion won in April.
  

Shares of Harim, which are traded on the secondary KOSDAQ bourse, closed up 5.18 percent at 4,870 won on Friday. Pan Ocean shares, traded on the main KOSPI, inched up 0.17 percent to 3,035 won. (Yonhap)

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