SEOUL/NEW YORK (Reuters) - South Korea’s Hyundai Mobis (012330.KS) plans to meet U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Management next week, two sources told Reuters, after Elliott launched a campaign to pressure Hyundai Motor Group to improve governance and boost returns.
The meeting would take place in Europe as part of Hyundai Mobis’ investor conference sponsored by Citi, one of the two sources familiar with the matter said, without providing more details on what would be discussed or who would attend.
A Hyundai Mobis spokesman declined to comment.
Auto-to-steel giant Hyundai Motor Group announced a plan last week to streamline its complex ownership structure as it responds to calls from the government and investors for greater transparency and better governance at family-controlled conglomerates, or chaebols.
Elliott Management revealed on Wednesday that it held more than $1 billion worth of shares in three Group affiliates, including auto parts-maker Hyundai Mobis which would become Hyundai’s de facto holding company under the restructuring plan.
The plan, which requires approval from two-thirds of shares that are voted, has been criticised by some investors for stripping Mobis of valuable assets and favouring the controlling Chung family at the expense of shareholders. Questions about synergies arising from the deal also have been raised.
Shareholder activism is rare in South Korea but the chaebols are under mounting pressure to reform after a corruption scandal last year led to the jailing of Samsung Group’s heir apparent and the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.
South Korean brokerage NH Investment & Securities (005940.KS) said it is advising Hyundai on the reorganisation plan.
Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in SEOUL and Liana B. Baker in New York; Additional reporting by Soyoung Kim in SEOUL; Editing by Stephen Coates