Squeezing-out Minority Shareholders under Korean Corporate Law

The amended Commercial Code of Korea provides for “squeeze-out” rights for shareholders holding 95% or more of the shares of a company. This Korean law was promulgated in April of 2012. The law also provides for a right of minority shareholders of Korean companies to demand a “sell-out.” It seems possible, under the very vague wording of the amended clauses, for a sell-out to take place at the same time as a squeeze-out with the potential of conflicting appraisals and

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Forming a Joint Venture in Korea, China & Southeast Asia: Listen to My Mother

My mother often told me, when I was much younger, to look both ways before crossing the street; carry an umbrella in the spring; and don’t go out alone in the dark. The advice can go a long way for Korean companies doing business outside Korea and for expats doing business in Korea. As we all know, Korean companies and many foreign companies lament over the fact that it is nearly impossible for Korean companies, with the exception of the

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Top 100 Korean Lawyers & Legal Consultants in Korea

Sean Hayes, head of the Top Korean Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year was rated by LawAsia, one of the leading peer-reviewed publications in Asia, as a Top 100 Lawyer in Korea. Sean Hayes is one of the only non-Korean attorneys on this Korean Lawyer “A-list” and the only non-Korean that was on the list each year the list was published. Sean Hayes is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of

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Acquiring Shares in Closed Korean Corporations in Exchange for Products at Discount: Don’t Forget the Due Diligence in Korea

I just received a phone call from a prospective client with a wonderful product that has been offered a sweetheart deal.  Whenever I hear that someone has received a no risk or sweetheart deal in Korea, a red flag immediately goes up in my head and I immediately request the client to let me do a couple of weeks of due diligence. One of the many, ubiquitous, sweetheart deals is ownership of shares in company in exchange for some benefit

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Do you Need to Enter the Korean Market via a Joint Venture/Partnership?

One of the major parts of our law practice here at IPG Legal for international clients, in Korea, is the structuring of joint ventures and the resolution of joint venture disputes in Korean courts and through arbitration. I find, in many of these cases, the non-Korean party is not in need of a joint venture with a Korean party to succeed in Korea and the Korean party does not realize or has no intent in satisfying obligations under the joint

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14 Things to Consider Before Starting a Manufacturing Business in South Korea

Korea, in many cases, is a better choice for the manufacturing of chemical, petroleum, construction equipment, complex crafted metals, specialty steel, automotive parts, semi-conductor, medical and pharmaceutical equipment and goods than China and most nations in Asia, because of Korea’s skilled work force, government incentives, protection of IP and increasingly transparent business practices. In many cases, manufacturing in Korea will not, in the end, be more costly than manufacturing in China, because of the increased efficiency of Korean workers and

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South Korea Offers a Variety of Business Visas for those Wishing to Conduct Business in Korea

South Korea offers several types of business visas for foreign nationals who want to conduct business activities in the country. These include the D-7 (Investor/Business Manager) Visa, D-8 (Corporate Investment) Visa, and D-9 (International Trade and Investment) Visa, among others. Each type of visa has its own eligibility requirements and conditions, and applicants must provide proof of their business plans and financial ability in order to obtain the specific visa. Korea’s visa laws are, often, changing. For an article quoting

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Forming a Joint Venture in Korea? Beware a Common Pitfall

A client, a minority shareholder in a foreign-capital-invested company in Korea is involved in litigation with other company shareholders (Korean shareholders) over issues the client had with the majority and other shareholders. The client requested me to post this article to warn others entering the Korean market via a Joint Venture or similar arrangement. This article is not intended to discourage entering the Korean market via a joint venture. JVs in Korea are, often, beneficial for businesses looking to expand

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Proposed Amendments to the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law: 2023

Proposed Amendments to the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Law: Extending Merger Notification Exemptions and Adding a Voluntary Commitment System. The Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA) is being revised, and the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has released an advance notice of these proposed changes, which include, among other things, (i) expanding merger notification exemptions; and (ii) introducing commitment processes for merger control. (the “Proposed Revisions”). The KFTC will solicit and compile feedback on the Proposed Revisions during

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Mergers & Acquisitions in The Korean E-Commerce Market: Opportunities for Foreign Niche E-Commerce Sites

First-generation Korean e-commerce enterprises are currently working to integrate recently acquired businesses and create new business prospects in the fiercely competitive E-commerce market of Korea. Last month, Korea Center, the owner of Enuri.com, the nation’s oldest online shopping mall and Danawa, another local e-commerce business, merged. In order to increase their ability to compete in the market, the two businesses intend to operate their e-commerce platforms independently while eventually building an integrated system forthe analysis of online shopping data. The

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