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146 Preparation for M&A 2 – PART 1

 The office manager from Hanbit Law Office-Se-Gil Lee seemed to be surprised when he looked at the papers that Gun-Ho showed him.

"Wow. These are a lot of papers. How many lawsuits do they currently have?"

"I believe it's 65 in total."

"This doesn't look good. They have way too many lawsuits."

He said while looking through the papers.

Gun-Ho looked at the office manager who was wearing a red t-shirt; his outfit for today was in a bright color overall. He seemed to be selective in choosing his outfit, but he didn't look elegant.

"Most of these are from the vendors who didn't receive the payments for their products, and 17 lawsuits are for unpaid wages."

"How many of them are issued payment order from the court?"

"There are 16."

"Once the court determines to revoke the court receivership, those companies with the court's payment order will start exercising their rights by bringing a sheriff's deputy."

"Really?"

"You probably want to negotiate with them before that happens. You both can agree on an installment payment plan. However, it wouldn't be easy though, because those companies must be pretty upset by now going through the process to get the payment order from the court."

"What happens if a sheriff's deputy gets involved?"

"They will start putting stickers on the properties that were to be seized. If they put those stickers on the equipment in the factory and on the computers in the office, then the company would be forced to stop their business."

"Hmm."

"You don't have to act right away though since they can't do anything yet during the court receivership period. Until then, the companies with the court's payment order will closely monitor the company's move."

"Hmm."

"The rest of the papers are about the court decision on performance recommendation on wage claims and lawsuits on requesting the payment for the goods delivered. You need to submit an application for an objection to the court for these cases."

"What should I say on the application?"

"Tell them that the company is not doing well so you will pay in installments or something like that. Once you do that, the court will realize that the company and the claimant are in dispute so they will start court proceedings. Even though you wouldn't win the lawsuit, you will be able to buy some time. That way, you can pay later."

"Hmm."

"How do I do the objection thing?"

"I will email you, President Goo with a sample format for it."

"I am President Goo in Seoul; however, I am a managing director in the company that is in the process of the court receivership."

"A managing director? They can't hire anyone at a director level during the court receivership period."

"We told the court that they hired a manager instead of a managing director, and within the company, they address me as a managing director."

Office Manager Se-Gil Lee smiled.

"Good luck to you."

"How many lawsuits did we say earlier the company currently has on an unpaid wage?"

"It's 17 cases."

"If you can, later on, pay the wages to the workers first. The company didn't pay to its employees who already provided their labors to the company. That doesn't look good to the public, and the court doesn't like it either. Moreover, wage claims could cause a criminal case."

"Hmm."

"The president of Mulpasaneop could be prosecuted, separate from the civil lawsuit."

"Hmm."

Officer Manager Se-Gil Lee closed the file as if he no longer needed to look at the file.

"Do you happen to know the total amount of claims? The amount that is already reported to the court?"

"It seems to be a bit more than 70 billion won. According to their financial statements, they used to have about 50 billion won debt last year. It increased dramatically lately."

"So you want to acquire this company knowing that you will have to take over the debt as well?"

"Haha, I don't have that kind of money."

"If that company has a bright future, why don't you form a consortium with another company in acquiring Mulpasaneop?"

"I don't think Mulpasaneop has a bright future. I'm just in a phase reviewing their business right now."

"I see. Oh, by the way, I have to leave you earlier today; I have things I need to take care of at the Incheon District Court. I will have to take a rain check for the lunch you offered for today."

Office Manager Se-Gil Lee was standing up from his seat to leave. Gun-Ho quickly took out an envelope from the inner pocket of his jacket.

"I wanted to buy you lunch today, but since you are so busy I won't hold you. Please take this instead; it's not much."

"Hahaha. You don't have to do this, but thank you."

The office manager didn't even try to pretend to refuse to take the money for even a second, but he quickly took it and put it in his pocket.

Once Gun-Ho came back to Mulpasaneop, he categorized the lawsuit files and reported it to the court officer.

"There are currently 65 lawsuits, and the litigation value is 12 billion won."

"Hmm."

"17 of them are for unpaid wage claims. Once we receive payments from our customers for the products we delivered, I will pay for these wage claims first."

"Of course, you should do that."

Gun-Ho approached the accounting manager, took out a chocolate from his pocket, and gave it to her. The accounting manager who was working at her desk lifted her head and laughed.

"It seems like you are the busiest person in this company. You must be extremely busy preparing all the documents that we need to submit to the court."

"Whew. Don't get me started. I can't even ask someone for help because I have to do it by myself. It's killing me. I should have quit this job when the previous managing director had quit."

"You stayed here till late at night at 10 pm yesterday, right?"

"I think I will have to do it again today too."

"You have that numerous works you have to complete today too?"

"I need to make a report for the court on the company's cash flow and I have to attach the corresponding details in statements. Also, I will have to prepare the application to request payments for our wage since the day after tomorrow is our payday."

"Do you need to get approval from those two officers appointed by the court for any papers that will be submitted to the court?"

"That is really painful work too because they are not in their offices all the time. Sometimes I could get approval from the court officer, and then I figured the president was not in his office or the other way around. If that happens, I have to wait for one of them all day long. This is very inefficient. I don't understand why they had to appoint two court officers."

"I feel your pain."

"And the selfish sales director asked me to make some changes to our company's payment plan of the debts, which we will submit to the court."

"Did he tell you why he can't do it?"

"Well, he said he is not good with numbers."

"Hmm."

"The sales director must be very busy with other work. I heard that the court officer asked him to modify the payment plan because the anticipated revenue is way too low."

"Hmm."

"I was told that the anticipated revenue needs to be high, in order for the court examiner to determine that the company is worth being saved."

"Hmm, that makes sense."

"I am so glad that you joined our company."

"What is it so?"

"Since you take over the lawsuit matters, I don't have to worry about that part."

"I haven't done anything really yet."

"There is a rumor saying that you joined our company because of an M&A."

"Haha. There is a rumor like that?"

"Yeah, also, since you are so young, people say there has to be someone else-a big player-and you are here on behalf of that big player."

"Haha, really?"

"I hope someone very wealthy to buy this company. I am so sick and tired of this situation."

"How long have you been working for this company?"

"It has been exactly 18 years. I aged with this company and I feel like I didn't really achieve anything."