Five firms selected for fast-track restructuring

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Five firms selected for fast-track restructuring

Five Korean companies, including LG Chem, the country’s largest chemicals manufacturer, received government approval to carry out voluntary corporate restructuring through fast-track legal and administrative procedures, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday.

The ministry said a government panel chose the firms to endorse their proposed restructuring efforts to boost competitiveness.

LG Chem, which posted 20.2 trillion won ($17.2 billion) in sales last year, said it will convert its polystyrene facilities in Yeosu, South Jeolla, into higher-ended acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer lines.

As a result, the company’s output of polystyrene, one of the oversupplied chemicals, will decline to 50,000 tons per year from the current 100,000 tons, it added.

LG Chem accounts for 14 percent of the Korean polystyrene market of an annual 726,000 tons.

The four other small and midsize companies, which are all engaged in the shipbuilding equipment industry, had plans to sell off their factories or reduce production but instead increased investment in sectors like power generators and higher speed vessels.

With the latest five companies, the number of companies subjected to the “one shot” act rose to 15, as part of the Korean government’s efforts to speed up corporate restructuring in the shaky industries, including shipbuilding, steel and petrochemicals.

The law came into effect in August to help businesses conduct intra-corporate mergers and spin-offs through simplified procedures that included exemptions from strict antitrust laws and financial market regulations. They will also be given tax benefits and subsidies for research and development on corporate restructuring. Yonhap
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