Back To Top

Hanjin strikes back at activist shareholder demanding reforms

Hanjin Group on Wednesday opposed Korea Corporate Governance Improvement’s qualification to exercise shareholder rights, in a move to counter its recent string of criticisms and demands on corporate governance and transparency.

The Korean conglomerate, which operates the country’s leading air carrier Korean Air, claimed that KCGI was only a minority shareholder and had no grounds to make such demands.

(Korean Air`s official Facebook account)
(Korean Air`s official Facebook account)

“According to the commercial act on special cases for listed firms, minority shareholders have to hold stake for over six months if they want to have a say in management,” a Hanjin official said in a statement, explaining that this by default disqualifies KCGI, which acquired stake in Hanjin KAL in November.

As special acts take priority over general provisions, the stipulated qualifications must be met. KCGI’s proposals will be conveyed to the board of directors to be duly dealt with in accordance with regulations, the statement noted.

KCGI is now the second-largest shareholder of the Korean Air’s holding company with a 10.71 percent stake next to Hanjin Chairman Cho Yang-ho and his family who also serve as executives. 

The Seoul-based private equity firm demanded last month for a top executive reshuffle and more outside managers, which would likely disrupt the chaebol group’s family-controlled management.

The founder and head of KCGI Kang Sung-bu is a corporate governance advocate who previously served as the CEO of Korean asset manager LK Investment Partners.

By Kim Arin (