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Small shareholders seek to block Hynix creditor takeover

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Yesterday in the Seoul District Court, a group claiming to represent holders of 38 million Hynix Semiconductor Inc shares (3.8% of the company) sought to prevent shareholders including the KEB, Korea Development Bank and Hanvit Bank converting KRW 3 trillion ($2.3bn) of bonds into shares, which would give them sufficient votes to dismiss the board.

The minority shareholder group also demanded the prosecution of individuals they claim wrecked the proposed $3bn takeover of Hynix's DRAM business by Micron Technology Inc.

The minority shareholders named Lee Duk Hoon, head of Hanvit Bank, one of Hynix's biggest creditors; Lee Keun Young, chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission; and Jeon Yun Churl, minister of finance. They claim the three were instrumental in blocking Micron's acquisition of Hynix's DRAM business, to the detriment of shareholders.

They now fear that if Hanvit and other major creditors including the KEB and KDB acquire control of the company through a bond swap, they will push ahead with a piecemeal disposal - also at a price detrimental to shareholders since the creditor would likely attempt to force down Hynix's share price prior to the swap, maximizing the equity they would then receive.

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