If you thought Samsung is a big name in the West, then you’ve only a small idea of how big the Samsung Group truly is in South Korea. We keep hearing of different divisions of Samsung’s creating better processors, faster RAM, more impressive displays and so on, but these are all in the consumer electronics field. In South Korea, Samsung is everywhere. As is often the case with massive corporations like Samsung, with lots of divisions entrenched in many different industries, there’s been some interesting chatter surrounding who is to take the reins from Lee Kun-hee who has been less and less active due to illness. It’s all but set that Jay Y. Lee, Kun-hee’s son will take over as Chairman of the Samsung Group, and with these latest moves in South Korea, it seems likely that the succession will take place sooner, rather than later.
Cheil Industries, often referred to as the Group’s de facto holiday company recently offered up $8 Billion in new shares to purchase Samsung C&T, a construction firm that owns 4.06% share in Samsung Electronics. This all gets a little confusing, but as analysts see it, this latest move would solidify Jay Y. Lee’s succession to Chairman of the Samsung Group. According to Reuters, shares in both companies rose by as much as 15% following the shake up. Essentially, this is a move to consolidate assets and control in Samsung Electronics, as that 4.06% share is the third largest in the company following South Korea’s National Pension Service and Samsung Life Insurance.
Jay Y. Lee is currently Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics, the driving force behind the Samsung Group, and is also the largest shareholder, however the deal to purchase Samsung C&T might not be as easy as the Samsung Group would hope. Some shareholders are warning that the deal undervalues Samsung C&T, and this could lead to some tensions. After a big launch like the Galaxy S6, after a poor year of sales in the mobile market from 2014, it’s no surprise that things are changing throughout the Samsung Group. Whether or not this deal goes ahead, and Jay Y. Lee becomes one step closer to controlling the Samsung Group remains to be seen, but it is clear that things are changing for the corporation at home.