by Hwa-Jin Kim*
This article is published simultaneously in 8 Journal of Korean Law (2009) 227-276.
(2009) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article
This Article offers an assessment of the preliminary evidence that the market for corporate control functions as a disciplinary mechanism for poor corporate governance in Korea. It analyzes SK Corporation’s fight against Sovereign Asset Management, contest for control over the Hyundai Group, KT&G’s fight against Carl Icahn, and LG Group and Carlyle’s proxy contest against Hanaro Telecom, together with relevant laws and regulations. These high-profile cases dramatically exemplified the role of takeovers in the improvement of the corporate governance of Korean companies, and brought about active policy discussions in respect of the market for corporate control and takeover defenses. This Article will also provide a quick overview over the provisions in draft new Korean Commercial Code related to the market for corporate control and takeover defenses, including squeeze-out, poison pills, and dual-class commons. This Article argues that as the increasing exposure of control to the market could eliminate the inefficient controlling shareholder system in Korea, the new Korean Commercial Code should strike a balance between the active market for corporate control and effective takeover defensive tactics for the benefit of all shareholders and the value of the company.