Seven more companies apply for fast-track corporate restructuring

Yonhap said on September 11 that seven more South Korean companies are seeking to win government approval for four cases of voluntary corporate restructuring, according to the trade ministry, in a move meant to boost their competitiveness.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said a government panel is set to hold a meeting next Tuesday to decide whether to endorse proposed corporate restructuring moves by seven companies involved in such sectors as steel, shipbuilding equipment and materials, textile and solar power.

The ministry declined to disclose names of the companies, citing the issue's sensitivity.

Last month, the government vowed to encourage local steel and petrochemical manufacturers to reduce output of oversupply items as part of its efforts to strengthen competitiveness of the local companies.

In August, the Special Act on the Corporate Revitalization, dubbed the "one-shot act," came into effect to help businesses carry out an intra-corporate merger and spin-off through simplified procedures including exemptions from strict antitrust laws and financial market regulations.

Under the new law, the companies seeking to benefit from the fast-track procedures are required to win government approval.

In September, the government panel approved voluntary corporate restructuring of Hanwha Chemical Corp., Unid Co. and Tongyang Moolsan Co.

Hanwha Chemical, a chemical arm of Hanwha Group, is seeking to sell its chlorine and caustic soda plant to Unid, a local chemicals manufacturer, as part of its business reorganizing efforts to deal with industry-wide oversupply of such materials and upgrade its business portfolio.

At the same time, Unid will transform the facility into a sodium hydroxide-manufacturing factory in a bid to cut output of caustic soda and focus more on higher value-added sodium hydroxide, according to the ministry.

The two companies have plans to invest a combined 1 trillion won (US$915.6 million) into the business reshuffle project.

Tongyang Moolsan, a farming machine producing company, will invest some 25 billion won into restructuring and rearrangement through taking over a machinery firm.

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