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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
July 22, 2024

Industrials

NPS opposes appointment of Lim Jong-yoon as inside director of Hanmi Pharmaceutical

  • PUBLISHED :June 14, 2024 - 17:01
  • UPDATED :June 14, 2024 - 17:01
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Lim Jong-yoon, the eldest son of the founder of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group and a member of holding firm Hanmi Science' board of directors (Yonhap)

The National Pension Service has decided to oppose the appointment of Lim Jong-yoon as an inside director of Hanmi Pharmaceutical at the upcoming extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the drug company on Tuesday next week. Lim, however, is expected to take the position as he and his aides hold a controlling stake in the pharmaceutical company, according to industry sources, Friday.

The national pension fund, the second-largest shareholder of Hanmi Pharmaceutical, said on Thursday that it has decided to oppose the appointment of Lim for his low board meeting attendance rate during his last term, ending in March this year, of below the NPS' guideline of 75 percent.

Lim's board meeting attendance rate is known to be around 12.5 percent this year and 50 percent last year.

The NPS' guidelines allow the pension fund, the world's third-largest public pension fund and the country’s largest investor, to vote against appointments of board members whose attendance rates are low.

Regarding the NPS’ decision, Lim, the eldest son of the founder of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group, who won a recent management dispute involving holdings firm Hanmi Science, expressed disappointment.

Lim said his attendance rate was low mainly because he intentionally decided not to join the company’s board meetings. He said it was part of his efforts to "veto" the decisions made by the board, which he deemed to be controlled by board members who were siding with the private equity funds that had caused the group’s recent management dispute.

Lim also argued that the private equity funds in question purposely removed Lim from his duties and worked to take control of the company even before the group’s management dispute became public.

Regardless of the NPS’ decision, Lim is expected to be appointed as an inside director of Hanmi Pharmaceutical at the upcoming shareholders' meeting, as Lim and stakeholders who are favorable to Lim hold a controlling stake in the company.

"Lim's appointment as an inside director of Hanmi Pharmaceutical's board is expected to go through as planned because the Lim brothers' Hanmi Science and their aide, Hanyang Precision Chairman Shin Dong-guk, together hold around a 49 percent stake in Hanmi Pharmaceutical," an industry official said.

The NPS currently holds a 9.95 percent stake in Hanmi Pharmaceutical, whereas Hanmi Science, in which Lim and his aides constitute the majority of its board, has a 41 percent stake in Hanmi Pharmaceutical. Hanyang Precision Chairman Shin, who was in favor of Lim during the management dispute over Hanmi Science, also holds a 7.7 percent stake in Hanmi Pharmaceutical.

Meanwhile, the NPS said it would also vote against the appointment of Shin as a non-executive director. Instead, the NPS said it would vote in favor of the appointment of Lim Jong-hoon, CEO of Hanmi Science, as an inside director of Hanmi Pharmaceutical.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)

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