Pantech laying off 400 workers after takeover

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Pantech laying off 400 workers after takeover

Pantech, the nation’s third-largest smartphone maker - which was given a second chance at financial survival after being bought by a local tech consortium in July - is laying off almost half of its staff.

Some 400 employees will be dismissed from a total staff of 900. According to Pantech employees on Friday, they are scheduled to leave the company on Oct. 23.

Management is understood to have had one-on-one meetings with the employees who are being let go and their final payment is expected to be given in November.

The layoff was not a total surprise for the employees. In April all Pantech employees signed a resolution to entrust all rights involving employment status to the company and its new owner Optis consortium.

The consortium, led by optical disc manufacturer Optis and telecommunications equipment maker Solid, signed an official contract in late July to take over the debt-ridden company for about 40 billion won ($34.4 million).

Pantech first applied for a debt workout plan in February, and the consortium’s decision to purchase Pantech came after a previous approach failed in March.

The consortium decided to retain 500 employees after a decision to keep operating the domestic business.

The takeover of the company was slated to be complete by this month, after the approval of creditors and shareholders.

However, the process will be postponed as the consortium is known to have requested an additional month to prepare more money, which is required to retain more employees for the local businesses. The consortium is also known to be considering a change of Pantech’s company name and not using the flagship smartphone brand Vega.


BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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