Woori Financial Group completes privatization with full buyback of gov’t’s last shares

Woori Financial Group headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of Woori Financial Group

Woori Financial Group is now fully privatized for the first time in 26 years, after being partially bailed out with public money in 1998.On Wednesday, the group disclosed that it plans to acquire all remaining shares held by the Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. (KDIC) and then cancel them. The targeted amount is 9,357,960 shares, which represents 1.24 percent of the company’s total shares. The group announced it would immediately cancel all acquired treasury stocks upon purchasing them.The transaction was conducted through after-hours block trading on Thursday, with the basis being the closing price of 14,600 won ($11.08) from Wednesday.

“This decision marks the completion of Woori Financial’s public fund repayment process, which spanned 26 years following the receipt of public funds in 1998. This marks the achievement of full privatization,” the group explained.The group anticipates that this decision will also enhance shareholder value by buying back and canceling its own shares. This time, the acquisition and cancellation will proceed at a scale expanded by 40 percent — compared to the 100 billion won executed last year.Following the transaction, the KDIC recouped an amount of 13.01 trillion won in public funds from Woori Financial Group, which was born through the merger of the Commercial Bank of Korea and Hanil Bank back in 1998 in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. It decreased stakes in Woori through seven sales attempts, including sales to several different buyers in 2016 to adopt an oligopolistic shareholder system.The KDIC explained that the retrieval of 13.01 trillion won represents an excess recovery of approximately 250 billion won over the principal amount, 토토사이트 resulting in a recovery rate of 102 percent.

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