South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) will soon convene a full session to determine punitive action Harim Group, the nation’s leading chicken and feed producer, and its chairman Kim Hong-kuk for alleged illegal intra-group transactions.
The FTC’s deliberation process will gather speed as a back-and-forth legal battle between the poultry maker and the antitrust watchdog has finally ended. The Seoul High Court on Wednesday ruled partially in favor of Harim and ordered the FTC to provide the documents that the company requested.
The antitrust agency will soon offer the documents to Harim and hold a full-session meeting to discuss what penalties to mete out.
The FTC had sent an inspection report to the company in December 2018 to report Harim Chairman Kim to the prosecution but the poultry giant filed a suit demanding the watchdog disclose the documents supporting its decision.
The Supreme Court ordered the FTC to provide some of the documents, but the authority sent a new examination report to the company after deleting relevant part.
Harim, once again, filed an administrative suit against the FTC over the new report, and the ruling came out on Wednesday ordering the watchdog to offer some of the documents.
The FTC accuses Kim of leading illegal intra-group trading to hand over his stake in Orpum, a non-listed subsidiary, to his son Kim Jun-young.
Orpum, the chicken processing subsidiary fully owned by Jun-young, grew rapidly from 2012 to 2016 by obtaining 70 billion won ($63.6 million) to 80 billion won worth orders annually from affiliates. It now owns a 4.3 percent stake in Harim Holdings, the top-tier holding entity of the group.
In 2016, Orpum bought 62,500 common shares owned by Jun-young per 160,000 won apiece and cancelled them.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]