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S. Korea's M&A activity brisk this year despite virus

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Large South Korean companies have actively engaged in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) this year despite the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, industry data showed Wednesday.

Big businesses in Asia's fourth-largest economy spent a combined 11.45 trillion won ($9.7 billion) in 52 M&A cases in the first eights months of this year, according to the data from CEO Score.

Big spenders include KB Financial Group Inc., a major South Korean banking group, which took over Prudential Life Insurance Co. of Korea Ltd. for about 2.3 trillion won.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., the shipbuilding holding firm of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, bought Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) for some 2.1 trillion won.

South Korea's top mobile gaming company Netmarble Corp. acquired Woongjin Coway Co., the country's largest home appliance rental service provider, for 1.7 trillion won.

"Large companies appear to have focused on securing growth engines through business shakeups in spite of the coronavirus crisis this year," CEO Score head Park Joo-geun said.

The data also showed 152 out of the country's top 500 companies pumped 59.3 trillion won into taking over 152 firms over the past five years.

Kakao Corp., the operator of popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, was most active with 47 cases over the cited period. Samsung Electronics Co. was the top spender with 10.1 trillion won. (Yonhap)
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