Lawyer Song demands punishment of responsible officials
Attorney Song Ki-ho of Suryun Asian Law Firm has chased the legal battle between the South Korean government and U.S. buyout fund Lone Star over the past 10 years.
As the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) finally came up with the verdict this week, Song asked for Korea’s Justice Ministry to disclose its full text.
The Washington-based international tribunal ordered South Korea to pay $216.5 million plus interest to Lone Star related to the sales of Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) in 2012 (See the Korea News Plus article published on Aug. 31).
Lone Star brought the case to ICSID in 2012, claiming the regulatory delay of the government caused billions of dollars of damage to the private equity fund, demanding $4.68 billion in compensation.
The Korean government countered that it treated Lone Star in a fair and equal manner, just like other domestic financial outfits.
“The ICSID ruling means that the Korean government ‘illegally’ engaged in the case so that the country should pay $216.5 million (to Lone Star),” Song said.
“The verdict would include details over who were responsible for that,” he said. “The full text should be immediately disclosed to punish those who are responsible.”
Lone Star statement
In the meantime, Lone Star came up with an official statement, which gives a mixed response to the ICSID decision.
“On behalf of our investors, Lone Star is pleased that the Tribunal vindicated our fundamental claim that the Korean regulators violated Korean and international law in relation to Lone Star’s multi-year effort to sell its controlling interest in KEB,” the Texas-based fund said.
“However, we are disappointed in the amount of the award, which fails to fully compensate Lone Star and its investors for losses resulting from the Korean government’s wrongful conduct or for the risks Lone Star took in rescuing KEB in 2003, and the value it added for the benefit of all of KEB’s shareholders and the Korean banking system.”