Kim Woo-choong, South Korean tycoon who built up the Daewoo industrial empire but ended his career in disgrace – obituary

Kim Woo-choong, who has died aged 82, was a South Korean former newspaper delivery boy who in 1967 founded Daewoo with five employees and capital of $10,000; over the next 30 years he built it into the second largest industrial conglomerate, or “chaebol”, in South Korea after the Hyundai Group.

Daewoo (the name means “great universe” – Kim always aimed big) started out as a trader of textiles to the Asian market, and diversified over the years into shipbuilding, construction, electronics, cars, cosmetics, and numerous other sectors.

As South Korea rose from the ashes of the Korean War, in common with the heads of other chaebol groups, Kim always managed to find loans on favourable terms, with…

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