Kumho sibling feud reignited; conflict between Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo and his younger brother and Kumho Petrochemical Chairman Park Chan-koo, who have been at odds since they fought over who should manage the group

2014-02-04 16:40

Kumho sibling feud reignited

By Kim Tae-jong

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The feud between two brothers of the Kumho family has been reignited, following the elder brother’s accusation Monday that his younger brother’s personal driver stole his private information.
The move is the latest development in the conflict between Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo and his younger brother and Kumho Petrochemical Chairman Park Chan-koo, who have been at odds since they fought over who should manage the group.
Kumho Asiana Group alleged that Chan-koo’s driver bribed an employee of a security company working for the group to have him steal information on the chairman.
The group argued that the employee took pictures of documents including the chairman’s personal schedule in his secretary’s office over 80 times from November 2011 and gave them to the driver.
“As there was circumstantial evidence that showed someone stole information from the secretary’s office, we launched an internal probe and secured evidence including CCTV footage, in which the employee from the security company sneaked into the office and secretly took pictures of documents,” an official from the group said.
The employee admitted that he was paid to do so by the driver, who he said gave the stolen information to Chan-koo, he said.
The group has asked the police to investigate the case to discover what information was stolen, whether it contained confidential information and who was behind the theft.
The group suspected that the stolen information was used to attack Sam-koo by his younger brother in an attempt to weaken his status in the group.
In response, Kumho Petrochemical said it is also investigating the case and will soon make an official statement.
“Our company has never ordered anyone to obtain information from Kumho Asiana Group,” the company said.
The Park family was long regarded as a role model in successfully and peacefully handing down the succession of power from the oldest to the youngest in the family.
But the two youngest and surviving brothers toppled the long-running tradition in 2009 when they engaged in a battle to secure more power over the group’s affiliates.
Later, Kumho Petrochemical along with Kumho Mitsui Chemicals and Kumho Polychem separated from the group.
But the two brothers did not stop their feud. In 2011, Kumho Petrochemical requested the Fair Trade Commission to separate Kumho Industrial and Kumho Tire from the Kumho Asiana Group.
In response, Kumho Asiana Group accused Chan-koo of embezzlement, breach of trust and insider trading when selling common shares of Kumho Industrial in 2013.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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