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GS Group Enters New Industries through M&As

Posted February. 15, 2005 22:35,   


GS Group Chairman and CEO Huh Chang-soo announced on February 15, “GS Group is seeking to enter new industries through M&As, and is reviewing a plan to establish a local branch in China.”

He added, “We will strengthen the capabilities of our energy and retail sectors, the major fields of GS Group, and we plan to list LG Mart on the stock market as well.”

Chairman Huh said this much at a press conference held at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Samsung-dong of Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

This is the first time that Chairman Huh, whose reluctance to receive the spotlight has earned him the nickname “The Reclusive CEO,” has made a public appearance since the launch of GS Group.

Chairman Huh said, “I felt a flood of emotions after receiving the Fair Trade Commission’s approval in dividing the companies.” He revealed his hope of “managing the company in a profitable manner and creating top value for shareholders.”

Regarding the company’s entry into new fields, he explained, “In inexperienced fields, GS Group will progress through M&As with existing companies, while in the energy and oil refining industries, we will make investments by establishing new corporations.”

Currently, the debt ratio of GS Holdings, the holding company of GS Group, is only 30 percent, enabling the company to raise funds of over one trillion won.

However Chairman Huh stressed that “even if GS makes inroads into new fields, its business areas will not overlap those of LG Group,” displaying courtesy to the Koo family of LG Group with whom his family has been partners for 57 years.

On entries into foreign markets, he stated, “We are considering entering the retail market in the east coast region of China, and we are planning to establish a local branch in the nation if necessary.”

Regarding the matter of listing affiliates on the stock market, he said, “Though the date is unclear, LG Mart will soon be listed.”

GS Group has 11 subsidiaries and two affiliates—LG E&C and Hanmoo Development— under GS Holdings. The group’s total asset amounts to 16.388 trillion won (in 2003), making it the seventh largest company in Korea excluding state enterprises and former state enterprises that have been privatized.

GS Group announced its new CI this day, which will be applied along with the new names of subsidiaries and affiliates from March 31.

Ki-Jeong Ko koh@donga.com