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    A028260   KR7028260008

SAMSUNG C&T CORPORATION

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How Samsung's ownership may change as heirs take over from late Chairman Lee

10/27/2020 | 02:36am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Lee, former Samsung Group chairman, and his son Lee Jae-yong wait to make a call of condolence for the late President Kim at a memorial altar at the National Assembly in Seoul

(Reuters) - South Korea's powerful Lee family faces a battle to maintain control of Samsung Group, the country's biggest conglomerate, following the death of patriarch and group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

From the astronomical inheritance tax bill to potential legal obstacles, here are some of the issues the family faces as it seeks to stay on top of the business empire founded back in 1938.

CROWN JEWEL

The family is expected to focus on maintaining control of the conglomerate's crown jewel Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, but family members' combined direct stake ownership is only at 5.8%.

Their outsized control is made possible through their shareholding in Samsung Life Insurance, which holds 8.5% of the flagship chipmaker, and Samsung C&T Corp, which owns 5%.

The majority of the late chairman's assets were a 4.18% stake in Samsung Electronics, worth about 15 trillion won (10.2 billion pounds), which the family is expected to try to inherit entirely.

Heir apparent Jay Y. Lee's direct stake in Samsung Electronics is just 0.7% but he exercises control primarily through his 17.3% stake in Samsung C&T, which in turn is the second-largest shareholder of Samsung Life Insurance - a major shareholder of Samsung Electronics.

HEFTY INHERITANCE TAX

If the family inherits Lee's stocks, the total tax bill is estimated to top 10 trillion won.

It can be paid in instalments; one-sixth must be paid initially, then the rest over five years, meaning annual payments can exceed $1 billion.

MONEY TO PAY THE TAX

The Lee family can sell their stocks in information service provider Samsung SDS and other non-core affiliates to pay the tax.

Dividends totalling about 702 billion won a year from their combined holdings in Samsung affiliates can also be used, which will add up to about 32% of the annual tax bill, according to Choi Nam-kon, an analyst at Yuanta Securities.

The shortfall may have to be covered with loans or partial sales of stakes they hold or will inherit in Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Electronics.

"The view is that selling part of the stake in Samsung Electronics during the inheritance process may be unavoidable," said Jeong Dae-ro, analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities.

Such stake sales could weaken the family's direct control of Samsung Electronics.

LEGAL OBSTACLES

Proposed legislation making it tougher for insurance companies to hold large stakes in non-financial affiliates relative to their assets could force Samsung Life to sell about $20 billion in shares in Samsung Electronics and cripple the Lee's family's grip on the chipmaker.

To ensure the Lee family keeps control, Samsung Life may try to sell its stake to Samsung C&T, which would in turn unload stakes in other units to come up with the funds.

The passage of the law remains uncertain as it could be unpopular with retail investors ahead of a presidential election in early 2022.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Joyce Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates)

By Hyunjoo Jin and Joyce Lee


ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
MIRAE ASSET SECURITIES CO., LTD. -0.72% 9600 End-of-day quote.1.69%
MIRAE CORPORATION -0.75% 19800 End-of-day quote.30.26%
SAMSUNG BIOLOGICS CO.,LTD. -1.17% 845000 End-of-day quote.2.30%
SAMSUNG C&T CORPORATION 0.00% 140500 End-of-day quote.1.81%
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. 0.00% 81000 End-of-day quote.0.00%
SAMSUNG ENGINEERING CO., LTD. -0.24% 21200 End-of-day quote.60.00%
SAMSUNG LIFE INSURANCE CO., LTD. 0.37% 81800 End-of-day quote.3.41%
SAMSUNG SDS CO.,LTD. -0.27% 187500 End-of-day quote.5.04%
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Financials
Sales 2021 31 305 B 28,0 B 28,0 B
Net income 2021 1 500 B 1,34 B 1,34 B
Net cash 2021 1 057 B 0,95 B 0,95 B
P/E ratio 2021 17,2x
Yield 2021 2,23%
Capitalization 23 166 B 20 734 M 20 756 M
EV / Sales 2021 0,71x
EV / Sales 2022 0,67x
Nbr of Employees 10 569
Free-Float 44,5%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 181 882,35 KRW
Last Close Price 140 500,00 KRW
Spread / Highest target 49,5%
Spread / Average Target 29,5%
Spread / Lowest Target -0,36%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Jung-Suk Koh Co-President, Co-CEO & Director
Seung-Hwan Han Co-President, Co-CEO & Director
Se-Chul Oh Co-President, Co-CEO & Director
Suk Chung Byung Chairman
Philippe Henri C. Cochet Independent Director
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