The Strategist

Samsung will consider plans to split the company

11/28/2016 - 15:32

On Tuesday, Samsung Electronics will consider a proposal to split the unit into two companies, Reuters reported with reference to the Seoul Economic Daily. In October, American Elliott Management hedge fund offered Samsung’s management to isolate business units involved in asset management and direct production. The fund also proposed to pay about $ 26 billion in the form of a special dividend, promise to return at least 75% of free cash capital to investors, and appoint several independent directors. The hedge believes that the plan would increase equity value of the South Korean company, and strengthen control of the holding’s founders - Lee family.

TechStage via flickr
TechStage via flickr
Samsung has not yet given official comments about possible re-shape of the business. Meeting of the Board of Directors is scheduled for Tuesday, 29 November.

Reorganization of Samsung is pacing faster since the company was headed by Lee Jae-yong in May 2014. Then, Lee Jae-yong took control after his father Lee Kun-hee suffered a heart attack and retired.

Possible split of the company was preceded by selling non-core or unprofitable assets. In particular, a few days ago, South Korean media reported that the company is discussing a possibility to sell its PC manufacturing business for $ 850 million to Lenovo.

In September 2016, it became known that Samsung was going to sell its printers business to HP for $ 1.05 billion. Immediately after the sale, the vendor put up for sale its stake in the Japanese corporation Sharp. Samsung's share in Sharp is 0.7% and is estimated at $ 45 million.

Samsung Electronics is not the first tech giant, which considers split-off as a step of business optimization.

In January 2016, after four years of declining financial performance, Xerox decided to divide itself into two independent businesses. One of the newly formed company will be engaged in production of office equipment, and other will become a business services provided.

In October 2016, shareholder of Xerox Darwin Deason, who owns 6% of the company, has made an attempt to block the split in court. According to him, the split-off will harm outsourcing company Affiliated Computer Services, founded by Deason and absorbed by Xerox in 2010.