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Hyundai chairwoman to invest US$24m into desperate carrier
Hyun Jeong-eun became chairman of the Hyundai Group in 2003

Hyundai chairwoman to invest US$24m into desperate carrier

South Korean Hyundai Group’s chairwoman is set to pay in about 30bn won (US$24m) of her personal funds in an attempt to recover the company’s shipping segment, local media reported.

The shipping business Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) reportedly said in a regulatory filing that it would raise share capital by issuing 6m shares through a third-party allotment.

Hyun Jeong-eun and her mother Kim Moon-hee are expected to purchase 4m and 2m of the newly-issued shares respectively.

The company is reportedly expected to receive about 100bn won (US$81m) in emergency funding, including 30bn won (US$24m) from the chairwoman and 70bn won (US$57m) from selling assets, among which a stake in Hyundai Asan and Hyundai Securities.

The newly issued shares, which will be sold at 5,000 won (US$4) each, are expected to be listed on the Korean stock market on March 4, 2016.

HMM, which recorded its fifth consecutive annual loss in 2015, reportedly said that it will look for court protection unless time-charter payments are significantly reduced.

A letter circulating in the industry from HMM’s chief executive Paik Hoon Lee to owners of the carrier’s chartered vessels reportedly reads that the shipping company cannot survive unless time-charter payments are significantly reduced.

The letter, dated February 1, 2016, also reads that HMM is planning a “consensual restructuring” in which each stakeholder will contribute equally to improve the company’s health.

Hyun became head of the Hyundai Group following the 2003 suicide of her husband, who was the son of the group’s founder Chung Ju Yung.