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Alternative Market Briefing

Elliot hedge fund’s increase stake in Samsung C&T complicates merger plan

Friday, June 05, 2015

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

The announcement of U.S. hedge fund Elliot Management to increase its stakes in Samsung Group’s construction and trading unit, Samsung C&T Corp., will complicate the planned merger with Cheil Industries Inc., and the planned smooth transition of leadership, said Korea Bizwire.

The $26bn Elliot Management emerged as the as the third largest shareholder in Samsung C&T after the state-run National Pension Service (NPS) and sister company Samsung SDI, following its decision to raise its stakes to 7.1% from the previous 4.9% share in Samsung’s construction and trading unit.

Elliot quickly challenged the planned merger and said the $8bn takeover deal "significantly undervalues" Samsung C&T and described the terms of agreement as "neither fair nor in the best interests" of its shareholders.

In a statement, Samsung Group dismissed the significance of Elliot’s challenge and said it would have little impact on the company’s restructuring plan. The company said, "Other major shareholders are positive (about the merger), and share prices indicate the market is also welcoming the move."

Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee plans to shift leadership in the company to his only son, Jay-yong, vice president of Samsung Electronics Co. The merger is a critical step to enable Jay-yong to acquire at least 16.5% at one of South Korea’s biggest fa......................

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