South Korea’s Securities and Futures Commission on Wednesday approved SK Holdings’ 51.5 billion-won ($45.6 million) deal plan, putting the matter up for final regulatory decision by the top regulator, the Financial Services Commission.
SK Holdings’ deal is designed to sell off its controlling stake of brokerage house SK Securities to local private equity firm J&W Partners.
As the SFC approved the eligibility of J&W Partners as the securities firm’s major shareholder, SK conglomerate is seen to step closer to clearing away the regulatory burden of owning stakes in a financial unit.
The final decision will be made the FSC’s regular meeting slated for July 25, an FSC official said. The approval by the SFC, the adjoining commission to the FSC, precedes a regulatory decision on financial companies in Korea.
In April, SK Holdings submitted plans for a stake selloff to gain regulatory approval, a month after the holding company of SK Group signed a deal with J&W Partners.
Under Korean law, a conglomerate that introduces a holding company structure is forced to dispose of shares it holds of a financial subsidiary within two years.
After SK Group adopted a holding company structure in August 2015, SK Holdings looked to dispossess its 10 percent shares in SK Securities by August 2017, but the failure in passing financial regulatory screening in July 2017 led to 2.96 billion won in fines from the Fair Trade Commission. The deadline for the selloff was renewed to August this year.
By Son Ji-hyoung