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Seoul court favors of Kyobo Life in put option lawsuit vs Hong Kong-based private equity
The Seoul Northern District Court has rejected Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners’ request for Kyobo Life Insurance Co. to carry out its obligation to put option on 6 million shares in Kyobo Life at a strike price of 409,000 apiece.
The court also ruled against the provisional seizure of Kyobo Life Insurance Chairman Shin Chang-jae’s assets Monday
The ruling removes a major hurdle for Kyobo Life’s drive to list shares on the local stock bourse in the first half of next year.
In October 2018, private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners exercised the put option after Kyobo Life failed to deliver on its promise to go public by September 2015.
According to Shin, he refused to buy back the shares as the strip prices are too high. He then filed a complaint with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICC), which rejected the private equity firm’s request.
Affinity Equity Partners, a financial investor in Kyobo Life, asked the court in October to order Shin to fulfill his promise concerning the put option.
The court ruling came days after Kyobo Life applied for preliminary approval with the local bourse operator to list its shares, with a plan to complete the overall IPO process by the first half of next year.
Kyobo Life Insurance has pushed in vain to list its shares over the past few years due to a prolonged legal battle with Affinity Equity Partners.
Kyobo Life said the company will finalize plans for the IPO size and timing in consideration of the market situations and other factors.