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Hyundai Motor Group to bid for Hyundai E&C reopening family rivalries

Hyundai Motor Group, the Korea-based car company controlled by the Chung family, announced 27 September that is plans to bid for a controlling stake in Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which will pit it against another branch of the founding family.

Hyundai Motor Group announced its intention to make an offer today for the $2.5 billion controlling share of Hyundai E&C after weeks of press speculation over whether it would participate in the bidding. It said the bid was an effort to diversify the group's activities, cement its place as a global conglomerate and create the opportunity for future growth.

The group said it would use its own capital to fund the acquisition if successful.

Hyundai Motor Group is headed by 71-year-old chairman Chung Mong-koo, son of Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung.

The bid follows one made by the separate Hyundai Group in August, which is controlled by Chung Mong-koo's sister-in-law Hyun Jeong-enu.

Hyundai E&C was part of the Hyundai Group until 2001 when creditors took a 35% controlling share in the business.

The Hyundai conglomerate was split into two separate companies in 1997-98 following the Asian financial crisis.  Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Steel and Kia Motors, was headed by Chung Mong-koo and Hyundai Group, which includes Hyundai Elevator, Hyundai Securities and Hyundai Asan, was led by his brother Chung Mong-hun.

Chung Mong-hun committed suicide in 2003 following accusations of false accounting when he faced a prison term, leaving his wife to succeed him as chairperson. Hyundai E&C's creditors said they would accept offers for their combined 35% share by 12 November. 

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