Pantech Co. faces liquidation after failing to find a viable investor to take over the Korean handset manufacturer, which once ranked second in the country.
Best known for its Sky and Vega Racer line of smartphones, the company on Tuesday said it requested the Seoul Central District Court to end its court receivership that began in August last year. Several rounds of bidding to sell the company failed, with Pantech saying no appropriate buyer with the proper evaluation of the company was found.
Pantech was founded in 1991 as a maker of pagers, but through aggressive M&As, including takeovers of Hyundai Curital and SK Teletec, it once shot up to the No. 2 position in Korea as recently as the mid-2000s. The acquisitions, however, put heavy financial pressure on the company and forced it to undergo debt restructuring from 2007 to 2011.
The company then sought to expand abroad, but poor strategies and the cost of setting up overseas branches worsened Pantech’s status.
Due to its failure to keep pace against heavy competition from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics as well as bad customer service, Pantech saw sales keep dropping and had to file for court receivership last year.
By D.H.Peter Kim