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Hyundai Mobis names outside director for shareholders' rights

17:26 February 14, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Mobis Co., South Korea's biggest auto parts maker and a key affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group, on Friday named an outside director dedicated to enhancing shareholder value.

Hyundai Mobis' board of directors has appointed financial expert Jang Young-woo, a former head of UBS financial firm in Seoul, as an outside director in charge of protecting shareholders' rights and interests, the company said in a statement.

His appointment is subject to approval at a shareholders meeting scheduled on March 18.

Hyundai Mobis names outside director for shareholders' rights - 1

The board has reappointed Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman as executive director to help the carmaker eastablish a presence in the future mobility markets under his leadership, the statement said.

Hyundai Mobis, de facto holding company of the world's fifth-biggest carmaker, also extended the term of former Opel Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann as an outside director by three years.

In March last year, the company invited Neumann and U.S. financial expert Brian D. Jones to join its board following a row with U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Management over its dividend plans and board member appointments in 2018. Jones will serve as an outside director for two years to come.

Elliott's attacks made Hyundai Motor Group drop its attempt to overhaul its governance structure, a move that could help 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 in 2019 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.

In January, Elliott reportedly sold all its stakes -- 2.9 percent of Hyundai Motor, 2.1 percent of Kia Motors and 2.6 percent of Hyundai Mobis -- 20 months after it purchased them for 1.05 trillion won,

On Friday, Hyundai Mobis' board agreed to adopt the electronic voting system at a shareholders' meeting to give all shareholders the rights to vote on the company's management decisions.

In other plans to boost shareholder value, the country's biggest auto parts maker plans to buy back 330 billion won worth of treasury shares this year and cancel 62.5 billion won worth of stocks.

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.

For 2019, its net profit jumped 22 percent on-year to 2.29 trillion won from 1.89 trillion won. It earns 90 percent of its overall auto parts sales from Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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