Hana Financial chief pledges job security of KEB employees
Published : Dec 4, 2011 - 20:26
Updated : Dec 4, 2011 - 20:26
Hana Financial Group chairman Kim Seung-yu has pledged to ensure the job security of about 8,000 Korea Exchange Bank employees if the group successfully acquires the lender.

During a news conference on Sunday, Kim downplayed the possibility that Hana will conduct a massive manpower restructuring after a merger.

He also said the financial group will file a bank merger application with the Financial Services Commission on Monday.

The application will seek the regulatory approval of Hana Financial’s revised preliminary deal to take over KEB from Lone Star Funds.

“Considering the time limit under the contract with Lone Star, we should be in a hurry,” a Hana spokesman said.

Under the revised contract, which was filed with the main bourse by Hana Financial last Friday, Lone Star is entitled to drop out of the preliminary deal unilaterally from Jan. 1.

“As a preemptive measure against possible delay in regulatory endorsement, the U.S.-based equity fund demanded we include the clause in the contract,” the spokesman said.

While their revised contract expires on Feb. 29, all parties are banned from dropping out of the deal if the FSC approves the application by Feb. 22, according to Hana’s public disclosure on the stock market.

Chairman Kim signed the new contract with Lone Star’s senior officials in Hong Kong over the weekend.

The revised deal has the takeover price worth 3.915 trillion won ($3.44 billion), or 11,900 won per share, down 490.3 billion won from 4.4059 trillion won, or 13,390 won per share, under the earlier one.

Meanwhile, the Korean Financial Industry Union has speculated that Hana made a behind-the-scenes contract with Lone Star under which the acquirer will pay the fund’s taxes on capital gains from the sale of KEB in the form of withholding taxes.

A Hana spokesman denied the allegation, adding there was no undisclosed deal between the two sides.

By Kim Yon-se (