Samsung Card to offer its stake in Everland

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Samsung Card to offer its stake in Everland

Samsung Card Co. said yesterday it plans to sell part of its stake in its unlisted affiliate Samsung Everland Inc., the de facto holding company of Samsung Group.

Samsung Card plans to sell a fifth of its stake in Samsung Everland, it said, and sent requests for proposals to foreign investment banks on Aug. 26. The Samsung Card statement was e-mailed to the media.

The company said it is reviewing various formats for the sale, including a block deal and an initial public offering but did not present a timetable for the sale.

Samsung Card owns a 25.6 percent stake in Samsung Everland, which runs an amusement park and food and accommodation services.

The card company is required to lower its interest in Samsung Everland by April under a financial industry law that limits financial companies from holding more than a 5 percent stake in nonfinancial firms.

Observers said the sale, which may be valued at more than 1 trillion won ($911 million), is likely to spur changes in the conglomerate’s complicated structure involving Samsung Card, Samsung Everland, Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Electronics.

Samsung Everland is a key shareholder of the life insurer, which in turn owns a 7.4 percent stake in Samsung Electronics. The chipmaker, which is the crown jewel of Samsung Group, controls a 35.3 percent stake in Samsung Card. Jay Y. Lee, the only son of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, holds a 25.1 percent stake in the amusement park operator.

Faced with rising public criticism, Samsung announced a plan in April 2008 to reform its governing structure, including a reduction in cross-ownership of affiliates.

Shares of Samsung Card, which shot up earlier in the day, fell 2.52 percent to close at 46,350 won.


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