Nutty business: Korean Air’s Asiana buyout plan to face injunction

The proposed airline merger hoped to stabilise Korean aviation industy may look like the latest setting of Hanjin Group's Cho family feud.


Asia Pacific merger Asiana takeover Korean Air Lines South Korean aviation


During a press conference, KDB Executive Director Choi Dae-hyon insisted Hanjin KAL’s planned share sale to the designated party is aimed at injecting money into the cash-strapped Asiana through Korean Air by the year’s end.

The director said Cho Won-tae, chairman of Hanjin KAL and Korean Air, signed and agreed to step down if the merger reports poor earnings under his leadership.

The KDB, Hanjin KAL and the chairman also agreed to not allow any family members in management roles within Hanjin KAL and its airline affiliates.

This measure to keep the management in check would see the chairman’s younger sister Cho Hyun-min relieving her chief marketing officer post at Hanjin KAL.

The KDB’s comments come as a three-party alliance led by the chairman’s elder sister Cho Hyun-ah, known for her “nut rage” incident in 2014, took issue with the Asiana takeover plan.

Chairman Cho, 44, had sparred with Hyun-ah, 45, when she formed the alliance with KCGI and local builder Bando Construction in January who failed to dethrone the chairman and perhaps will make another coup attempt at Hanjin KAL’s shareholders meeting in March next year, the report read.

KCGI said on 18 November that Hanjin Kal’s board of directors had “rushed to issue new shares without any process of collecting shareholders’ opinions or even due diligence on Asiana Airlines’ financial condition,” Reuters reported.



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