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Kakao sells part of stake in Hanjin KAL

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korean internet giant Kakao has sold part of its stake in Hanjin KAL, having previously been expected to support Cho Won-tae in a family feud over the control of Hanjin Group, according to industry sources Monday.

KaKao’s stake in Hanjin KAL, the holding entity of Hanjin Group, is now lower than 1 percent, down from a previous 2 percent, according to the sources.

Kakao said that the sale of several stock items was a way to counter potential uncertainty in the market amid the coronavirus outbreak. It added it could not disclose further details of the trading.

Kakao also dismissed possibility of taking sides in Hanjin KAL’s upcoming shareholders meeting on March 27.

Chairman Cho and his supporters have a combined stake of around 36.7 percent, including Cho and the other family members’ 22.45 percent stake, Delta Air Lines’ 14 percent stake and GS Caltex’ 0.25 percent stake. If the employee association of Korean Air Lines, which holds 3.8 percent stake, votes for Cho, the incumbent chairman could secure a 41.4 percent stake.

Cho Hyun-ah, the elder sister who is on the other side of the proxy battle, has secured 37.63 percent stake, including her 6.49 percent stake, KCGI’s 17.84 percent stake and Bando Engineering & Construction’s 13.3 percent stake.

The total stake held by Cho Hyun-ah’s side is expected to increase, as KCGI reportedly purchased additional 0.5 percent stake in Hanjin KAL. Bando was previously told to have purchased an additional 0.7 percent stake.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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