The Korea Herald


With nod from creditors, Taeyoung chief vows utmost self-rescue efforts

Creditors grant initiation of debt restructuring for ailing builder, voting 96.1% in support of plan

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Jan. 12, 2024 - 18:15

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Taeyoung Engineering Construction's headquarters situated in Yeouido, western Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap) Taeyoung Engineering Construction's headquarters situated in Yeouido, western Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)

Taeyoung Group founder and Honorary Chairman Yoon Se-young urged its employees to make all-out efforts to bring its debt-ridden builder Taeyoung Engineering & Construction back on track, after creditors confirmed Friday their approval for a debt restructuring program.

"The debt workout has begun, backed by the strong support of creditors. This is because (the creditors) saw a high possibility of Taeyoung E&C's normalization," Yoon announced in a statement uploaded on the company's in-house platform Friday.

The builder received 96.1 percent of support from creditors to move forward with a debt restructuring program -- far above the required 75 percent -- in a vote held the day before, according to a separate announcement released by the Korea Development Bank, its main creditor, earlier in the day.

"The next challenge for us is to have the corporate restructuring plan pass the second creditors' meeting slated for April 11," the statement read. "Please put in all self-rescue efforts to ensure that the corporate restructuring planning process can be carried out smoothly."

Following the initiation of the debt workout, the creditors are to postpone the repayment of debts for Taeyoung E&C for three months until the April 11 meeting, as stated by the law. If the main creditor, the state-run KDB, sees the need for more time, an extra month could be given.

A due diligence review of the assets and liabilities of Taeyoung E&C will be conducted during the period. The KDB will come up with a corporate improvement plan which will be put to a vote by creditors.

In the meantime, Taeyoung Group, the parent company of the builder, will carry out its previously suggested self-rescue plan to secure liquidity.

“The creditors have decided to initiate the debt restructuring process as they trust the pledge of the Taeyoung Group and its owner made to the public, which promises a thorough implementation of the self-rescue plan,” a statement released by the KDB read.

“The employees of Taeyoung E&C and Taeyoung Group will make full efforts so that due diligence and corporate improvement planning can be executed properly.”

With the approval, the troubled builder has embarked on a path of normalization nearly 15 days after it filed for a debt workout on Dec. 28, suffering from a cash crunch from real estate project financing loans.

Though the debt workout application had a rough start as the creditors were skeptical of the commitment of Taeyoung Group, the builder’s parent company, to reviving its subsidiary, the negotiations took a positive turn when the ownership family further pledged to offer key stakes in broadcaster SBS and TY Holdings for liquidity, if necessary.

Taeyoung Group’s ownership family said they will provide the stakes as collateral if they are unable to resolve Taeyoung E&C’s liquidity crunch by April 11 through the previously suggested four self-rescue measures, including the sales of sewage treatment unit Ecorbit and resort operator BlueOne.

The crisis at Taeyoung E&C, Korea’s 16th-largest builder in terms of construction capacity, fueled concern about a looming liquidity crunch across the whole real estate project financing market.

Yet authorities have been maintaining the stance that Taeyoung E&C’s liquidity distress is unlikely to evolve into a crisis for the overall industry.

Top financial policymakers, including Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok, Financial Services Commission Chairman Kim Joo-hyeon, Financial Supervisory Service Gov. Lee Bok-hyun and Bank of Korea Gov. Rhee Chang-yong, held a meeting Friday in response to the initiation of the debt restructuring process for Taeyoung E&C.

“The domestic financial market has remained relatively stable since Taeyoung E&C has filed for a debt workout, and the possibility of this evolving into a risk for the project financing loans for the real estate market is limited,” the authorities viewed.