Cho Hyun-ah seeks to replace brother with a professional

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Cho Hyun-ah seeks to replace brother with a professional

Cho Hyun-ah, a major shareholder of Hanjin KAL, has agreed to work with two other major shareholders to challenge the leadership of Cho Won-tae, her brother.

The other two parties in the agreement are KCGI and Bando Engineering & Construction. Together, the three shareholders own 32.06 percent of Hanjin KAL, which itself own 30 percent of Korean Air Lines.

In a joint statement on Friday, Cho Hyun-ah and the two shareholders said that her brother should be ousted and replaced by a professional manager. Cho Won-tae serves as chairman and CEO of Korean Air Lines, chairman of Hanjin KAL, chairman of the Hanjin Group.

Cho Hyun-ah, KCGI and Bando have agreed to work together, according to a legal representative from Bae, Kim & Lee law firm and an electronic disclosure.

“Former vice president Cho Hyun-ah has supported the idea of appointing a business professional, which was first brought up by the KCGI and Bando, a new shareholder, also agreed on the direction,” said Kang Il, the regal representative, in the statement.

KCGI owns 17.29 percent of Hanjin KAL and Bando and related companies have 8.28 percent. Cho Hyun-ah has 6.49 percent,

Cho Won-tae has 6.52 percent. Cho Hyun-min, his younger sister and a marketing executive at the airlines, has 6.47 percent, and Lee Myung-hee, wife of the late former chairman, has 5.31 percent.

Delta Air Lines owns 10 percent.

The new alliance between Cho Hyun-ah and the other two shareholders could result in a change in control of the company, as the grouping has more shares than the remaining family members plus Delta.

The battleground for control could be the annual shareholder’s meeting set for March. Retail shareholders, owning about 30 percent of the stock, could play a pivotal role.

The formation of the alliance comes after Hyun-ah last December accused her brother of going against their late father’s wishes.

“Hanjin Group failed to follow through with the late chairman’s last words,” Hyun-ah said through her legal representative. “The late chairman wanted the family to cooperate and run the business together.”

Bando Engineering & Construction raised its stake in the Hanjin KAL earlier this year and said it wanted to take an active role in the company.

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