Pantech May Be Headed for Liquidation

luvsmiling, May 27, 2015, 9:26 a.m.

Cash-strapped smartphone maker Pantech seems headed for liquidation. The company said Tuesday it asked a local court to end its receivership because no suitable investor has sought to buy it. 

"Despite 10 months of efforts we could not find an appropriate bidder with an accurate evaluation of Pantech," Pantech chief Lee Joon-woo said in a statement. "Since we are unable to discharge our duty as a company, we have decided to apply for the end of the receivership."

Lee thanked customers and apologized to the company's shareholders, creditors and suppliers. Pantech will be wound up if the Seoul Central District Court accepts the request.  Established in 1991 as a manufacturer of pagers, Pantech started making mobile phones in 1997 and was at one time the No. 2 mobile phone maker in Korea after Samsung. 

However, it suffered an acute cash crunch after it acquired a handset-manufacturing subsidiary of SK Group and filed for a court-mediated workout program in 2007. It managed to rise from the ashes after laying off 35 percent of staff and the success of the Vega series of smartphones. 

But the company suffered another cash crunch as smartphone sales tapered off in 2010, when the global market neared saturation and became dominated by Apple and Samsung. The last smartphones rolled off Pantech's assembly lines in July last year.

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