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South Korean president enters LG Semicon, Hyundai spat

Demands both companies merge

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In a further twist in the proposed merger of the semiconductor wings of giant chaebols LG and Hyundai, the president of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung, demanded the merger go through. That follows earlier reports that the proposed deal was in tatters because LG refused to allow Wall Street consultant Arthur D Little to broker a deal with Hyundai. According to the Korea Herald, President Kim told a local radio station that the merger of the semiconductor units must go through. And Hyundai Electronics president Kim Young-hwan fanned the flames between his company and LG Semicon by claiming it had refused to sign a contract with Arthur D Little. LG has claimed that it can go it alone without merging with Hyundai. But both have a deadline of 24 December for the merger. The intervention of President Kim and his hard line statement makes it likely that punitive action will be taken against LG and Hyundai if they further protract the merger. ®

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