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Korean Air's acquisition of Asiana to result in 300 billion won annual profit: KDB Chief

KDB chairman Lee Dong-gull is optimistic about KAL's integration with Asiana.the

Korean Air Lines Co.'s acquisition of rival Asiana Airlines Inc. and subsequent streamlining of operations will result in an annual 300 billion won profit, according to the chairman of state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB).

Lee Dong-gull, chairman of KDB, Asiana's main creditor, the two carriers can hurdle the post-pandemic challenge in two to three years if they streamline their routes and reduce maintenance costs.

Last week, KDB signed an investment agreement to inject 800 billion won into Korean Air's parent Hanjin KAL Corp through a rights offering and convertible bonds.

Hanjin KAL will then participate in a 2.5 trillion-won stock sale by Korean Air, with the funds to be used to acquire Asiana.

However, equity fund Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI) filed an injunction against the KDB's plan to join Hanjin KAL's rights issue because the share sale to the third party will damage the Hanjin Group's existing shareholders' value.

An injunction could keep the deal from materializing, placing Asiana again under the creditors' control.

The KDB will have a 10.66 percent stake in Hanjin KAL after investing the 800 billion won in the holding firm.

It would help Chairman Cho Won-Tae fend off attempts by an activist fund to take control of Hanjin KAL.

Upon completion of the deal, Korean Air will become Asiana's biggest shareholder with a 63.9 percent stake.

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