SEJONG, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- Corporate mergers and acquisitions by South Korean firms fell sharply in the first six months of this year from a year earlier due to a higher base effect last year, the antitrust regulator said Sunday.
The value of reported M&As involving local companies reached 12.7 trillion won (US$10.5 billion) in the January-June period, down 41.2 percent from the 21.6 trillion won tallied a year earlier, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
The number of M&A cases rose to 270 from 266 over the cited period, the commission said.
The FTC said large business groups sought mergers as part of efforts to realign and diversify their business portfolios, with the value of such M&As hitting 4.2 trillion won in the January-June period, compared with 16.5 trillion won a year earlier.
Major M&As involving local companies included the Woongjin-led consortium's purchase of Coway Co., South Korea's top water purification maker, for 1.68 trillion won from MBK Partners Ltd., a local private equity firm, according to the corporate watchdog.
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