RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Korea

Lone Star files appeal to invalidate KEB charges

A lawyer for LSF-KEB Holdings SCA, which holds Lone Star's stake in KEB, said the fund had not deliberately manipulated KEB unit’s stock prices.

Private equity fund Lone Star is to file a petition to void charges against it in South Korea as unconstitutional, its lawyers said on Thursday, in a move that will likely prolong its protracted $4.3 billion sale of a stake in Korea Exchange Bank.

The Seoul High Court started on Thursday hearing charges against Lone Star's former Seoul representative Paul Yoo and the U.S. private equity fund over stock manipulation charges in relation to a credit card unit of KEB after a ruling acquitting him was overturned by the Supreme Court.

The legal dispute has led the Korean financial regulators to delay a decision whether to approve a proposed sale of Lone Star's 51 percent stake to Hana Financial Group.

If Lone Star is found guilty it could be disbarred as the legal owner of the KEB stake.

In the court hearing, a lawyer for LSF-KEB Holdings SCA, a Belgium-based unit which holds Lone Star's stake in KEB, said the fund had not deliberately manipulated stock prices of the KEB unit.

A lawyer for Paul Yoo also said Yoo didn't conspire to manipulate stock prices, and asked the judge to reconsider the five-year jail sentence given in the previous ruling.

View the full story in Reuters.

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