Korea files suit against int’l court order to compensate Mason Capital over Samsung merger

People leave the Ministry of Justice building in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province in this undated file photo. Yonhap

Korea has filed a suit to reverse an international tribunal’s recent order to pay $32 million in compensation to U.S. hedge fund Mason Capital over a controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates, officials said Thursday.

The suit filed by the government is in response to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) April ruling in an investor-state case that Mason lodged in 2018, demanding $200 million in compensation.

Mason claimed damages due to what it alleged was the Korean government’s unfair intervention in favor of the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T, in which the fund held a 2.18 percent share.

Mason argued that the intervention resulted in the merger being conducted at undervalued prices for Samsung C&T due to the firm’s falling stock prices.

The justice ministry concluded that the PCA erroneously interpreted the conditions for jurisdiction recognition under the Korea-U.S. 한국을 free trade agreement, resulting in an unfair ruling. This constitutes reasonable grounds for canceling the ruling, a ministry official said.

“By addressing this legally flawed ruling, the government will do its best to prevent any outflow of national wealth,” the official said.

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