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October 1, 1998

LG & HEI MERGER IS OBSTACLE TO CHAEBOL PLAN

By CBR Staff Writer

The restructuring of Korea’s ‘big five’ Chaebols – LG, Daewoo, Hyundai, Samsung and SK (CI No 3,489), driven by The Federation of Korean Industries, is nearing an end, according to Asian press reports. However, the Korea Herald reports that the deadline (10/01/98) for the completion of the restructuring – which calls for the clarification of the ownership structure of the chaebols – is unlikely to be met. In addition, any deal could well be watered-down and ambiguous. The major sticking point is the proposed merger of semiconductor manufacturing groups, LG Semiconductor and Hyundai Electronics Industries (HEI), who are still squabbling about who will have overall control of the semiconductor unit (CI No 3,493). The Korea Times reports that talks have been continuing through the night to reach a conclusion and an announcement is imminent.

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