Corporate mergers and acquisitions by Korean firms rose sharply last year as local conglomerates sold non-core firms and bought others to beef up their new businesses, the antitrust watchdog said on Feb. 18.
The value of reported M&As reached 53.8 trillion won (US$49.6 billion) in 2017, sharply up from the 26.3 trillion won tallied a year earlier, according to the Fair Trade Commission.
The number of merger cases also rose to 514 from 490 over the cited period, it added.
The FTC said domestic companies, especially large business groups, sought mergers among its affiliates as part of their efforts to realign their business portfolios, with the value of such M&As hitting 29.8 trillion won, a big jump from 4.4 trillion won a year earlier.
Also, M&As intended to expand new business areas reached 23.9 trillion won in 2017, up 21.9 trillion won from a year earlier, according to the watchdog.
The number of massive M&A deals involving foreign companies fell slightly to 154 from 156 over the cited period, with the combined value of those deals sharply down to 455 trillion won from 567.3 trillion won.
By Ahn Sung-mi and news wires (email@example.com