SEOUL -- Hanjin KAL has signed a partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center, a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator, to discover new businesses and innovation for the Hanjin group which has been under pressure to dispose of non-core assets and enhance corporate transparency.
Hanjin KAL, the group's holding company, said it would participate in the process of selecting startup companies from the platform provided by Plug and Play to create new business opportunities. The group expects the partnership to innovate core areas ranging from aviation to travel, logistics and ICT.
Plug and Play runs two programs per year in each industry and location. It has hundreds of corporate partners and venture capitalists in its ecosystem.
The partnership with a renowned startup accelerator came as the leadership of Hanjin group's new chairman Cho Won-tae faces a serious challenge from an alliance involving Korea Corporate Governance Improvement (KCGI), Bando Engineering & Construction and Cho Hyun-ah, a former Korean Air vice president known for a "nut rage" incident in 2014.
KCGI, an acrtivist equity fund, has accused Cho Won-tae of turning a deaf ear to calls from ordinary shareholders without realizing Hanjin's management crisis. The fund agreed with Cho Hyun-ah, 45, to vote together against Cho Won-tae, 44, at a meeting of shareholders in March.
As of Thursday, Cho Hyun-ah and her partners raised their combined stake in Hanjin KAL from 32.06 percent to 37.08 percent.
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