The proposed merger of the semiconductor arms of Hyundai and LG is on the point of falling apart, said Korean sources yesterday.
According to the 'The Korea Herald', the deal is running aground on the rock of control - both sides, as many expected, want to run the merged company and neither will give in.
Also predictable were complaints from the US and EU. The Korean government's plans to rationalise the country's top companies (chaebols) by merging the groups' weaker operations into the stronger raise antitrust issues.
Washington meanwhile, 'The Herald' reports, is keeping a close eye on the Korean government, and is ready to cry foul if any International Monetary Fund loans are diverted to finance mergers.
Some Korean business leaders remain optimistic that the LG-Hyundai deal will go through, and the nightmare suggestion of the two groups taking turns to run the company, swapping every three to four years, has been mooted.
LG Semicon has meanwhile been thrown a small lifebelt by Philips Electronics, which today awarded it a three-year contract to supply $700 million worth of LCD displays, likely to be for home entertainment products. Deliveries start in January.
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