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Hyundai Mobis to select outside director for shareholders' rights

All News 10:00 January 02, 2020

By Choi Kyong-ae

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Mobis Co., South Korea's biggest auto parts maker and a key affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group, said Thursday it will select an outside director dedicated to enhancing shareholder value.

Hyundai Mobis plans to have shareholders recommend potential outside directors and select one of them who will be in charge of protecting shareholders' rights and interests, the company said in a statement.

The move is aimed at strengthening the transparency of Hyundai Motor Group's governance structure and shareholders' value, it said.

In earlier such efforts, Hyundai Mobis, de facto holding firm of the automotive group, invited two foreign outside directors -- former Opel Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann and U.S. finance expert Brian D. Jones -- to join its board in March last year following a row with U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Management over its dividend plans and board member appointments in 2018.

Hyundai Mobis to select outside director for shareholders' rights - 1

Elliott's attacks made Hyundai Motor Group drop its attempt to overhaul its governance structure, a move that could help Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun take over the country's second-biggest conglomerate from his father, Chairman Chung Mong-koo.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency in October last year, Neumann said Elliott provided some of the right influence and input, but from his perspective, the U.S. fund looked like it was taking "a very radical approach" given it asked Hyundai Mobis to pay 2.5 trillion won (US$2.1 billion) in dividends this year for the firm's earnings results for 2018.

It was far higher than the combined 1.1 trillion won in dividends offered by the company in early 2019 for the following three years.

Elliott owns about a 3 percent stake in Hyundai Mobis.

Early last year, Hyundai Mobis announced it will pay out dividends, buy back shares and cancel stocks that are valued at overall 2.6 trillion won for three years to come.

Hyundai Mobis earns 90 percent of its overall auto parts sales from affiliates Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.

In the January-September period, its net profit rose 17 percent to 1.71 trillion won from 1.47 trillion won in the first nine months of 2018, helped by increased sales of parts for electric cars.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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