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Hostile Takeovers & Defense

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC offers superior expertise in hostile takeovers in Korea, on both attack and defense.

Led by the highly recognized veteran Dong Woo Seo and Young Soo Ahn, our practice group brings a track record that is unsurpassed. The team has handled many of the major contests for corporate control in Korea, and played a leading role in many—and possibly most—of the key judicial precedents in this area. Since the era of uninvited takeover bids and proxy contests dawned in Korea in the mid 1990s, BKL has consistently been turned to when clients require the finest caliber of advice in coordinating takeover bids or corporate defense.

Takeover possibilities permeate the Korean corporate landscape. Many listed companies in Korea are vulnerable because controlling shareholders tend to hold relatively small stakes.

For the client on either side of a contest, we offer a comprehensive grasp of takeover and defense strategies. Having been closely involved in development and litigation of these methods during the past 15 years, our team offers a highly sophisticated understanding of the legal issues and probabilities. We have executed, or engaged against, proxy solicitations, extraordinary shareholder meetings, moves to suspend directors or suspend share voting rights, and the opening of management accounts and records. Our results include many high profile victories in advancing, or opposing, tactics in subsequent litigation, which often turns on cutting edge issues of corporate law.

We have also advised many listed companies in designing and implementing advance precautionary steps. These will typically include strategic modifications to capital structure and organizational documents. The advantages, as well as weaknesses and vulnerabilities, of such tactics are well understood by us.

BKL brings the resources of one of the largest litigation firms in Korea. With over 150 lawyers involved in trial and appellate practice, we offer courtroom skill and insight that will not be surpassed. The Firm is involved in many of the most advanced or complex litigations in Korea. Also of common importance in the takeover scenario, BKL offer full practice groups focusing on white collar crime, fair trade practices, labor relations and tax.

In contests for corporate control, each client will find our special expertise, as well as our broader capabilities, brought into focus in strategizing, execution and litigation.
Major Cases

    • Strategic advice and litigation for foreign activist shareholder groups in relation to several KSE listed companies, 2006~present.

    • Advised Hyundai Merchant Marine in responding to hostile takeover bid by KCC Corporation in 2004~2007, widely perceived as one of the most significant takeover contests in Korean corporate history.

    • Advised SK Corporation in responding to 2005 proxy solicitation by Sovereign Asset Management, involving indirect control of SK Telecom.

    • Advised in takeover of Shinho Paper, 2006.

    • Advised in takeover of HK Mutual Savings Bank, 2005.

    • Strategic advice and litigation for a number of Korean listed companies, such as Byucksan, Daegu Merchant Bank, ESTec and NeoWave, 2000~present.