Hana says may renegotiate KEB deal if no Lone Star appeal

SEOUL Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:41am EDT

A customer uses an automated teller machine at the headquarters of the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul October 6, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

A customer uses an automated teller machine at the headquarters of the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul October 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

SEOUL (Reuters) - Hana Financial Group (086790.KS) is willing to renegotiate its agreed takeover deal of Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) 004940.KS from Lone Star LS.UL, should the U.S. fund decide not to appeal a court verdict against it, Hana's chairman said on Tuesday.

Lone Star was found guilty of manipulating stock prices of a KEB unit last week, clearing a legal uncertainty clouding the fund's exit from South Korea, as Korean regulators held off approval for the $4.1 billion deal citing legal issues.

It can appeal against the ruling by Thursday.

Market talk has swirled recently that Hana may be trying to cut the agreed purchase price as KEB shares have tumbled sharply since the transaction was agreed on due to the global financial market turmoil.

Hana chairman Kim Seung-yu told Reuters on the sidelines of a local forum that it was open to renegotiating the deal should Lone Star not appeal against the court ruling.

A Seoul court official said on Tuesday that Paul Yoo, the former head of Lone Star's Korean operations who was also found guilty of stock price manipulation, had appealed against the ruling.

Lawyers for Lone Star were not immediately available for comment on whether they planned to appeal.

Shares in Hana rose 1.4 percent and KEB was down 1.19 percent versus a 2.01 percent gain in the wider market .KS11 as of 0437 GMT.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Hyunjoo Jin; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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