LG says it’s still looking for more telecoms clout

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LG says it’s still looking for more telecoms clout

Although it failed to take over Hanaro Telecom, LG Group will continue to pursue “synergy strategies” in the telecommunications business, Jung Hong-shik, president of group-wide telecommunications operations at LG Corp., said yesterday. Mr. Jung met the press a day after LG lost its bid to take over Hanaro Telecom to a consortium led by American International Group and New Bridge Capital. Mr. Jung said that LG Group wants to acquire Korea Thrunet, Korea’s third-largest broadband data carrier, by the end of the year. Hanaro has also said that it has its eye on the firm. The LG executive also said it wanted to form some sort of a strategic partnership with Hanaro, perhaps by means of a share swap. Hanaro had originally raised the idea before Tuesday’s Hanaro shareholder meeting where LG lost its bid to keep the Internet service out of foreign hands. “Hanaro is well aware that it cannot be a match for KT alone,” Mr. Jung said. “If LG takes over Thrunet, the situation would worsen for Hanaro.” Dacom, LG’s Internet unit, holds a 7-percent stake in Hanaro. Hanaro had proposed that it would buy a partial ownership stake in Dacom as well. “Even though we failed to get management control of Hanaro Telecom, if this partnership were forged, it could be the second-best solution because LG and Hanaro could take coordinated steps in future telecommunications businesses,” Mr. Jung said. LG and Carlyle Group agreed yesterday not to cancel their agreement to bid for Hanaro, leaving open the possibility that Hanaro’s approval of the AIG-New Bridge investment could taken to court. by Lee Won-ho

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