Elliott mum on plans to sell shares of Samsung

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Elliott mum on plans to sell shares of Samsung

Elliott Associates has returned its shareholder certificates for Samsung C&T, Samsung SDI and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, which legally frees the U.S. hedge fund to sell its Samsung shares.

The certificate is a legal document proving that its owner is the shareholder of a particular company.

“Yes, I have heard that Elliott has returned certificates for Samsung shares,” an official with Korea Securities Depository, which issues the certificates, told the Korea Joongang Daily, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“From the moment Elliott returns the certificates, it is free to sell its shares to another party or on the stock market,” he added.

Elliott, which controls 7.1 percent of Samsung C&T and 1 percent of both Samsung SDI and Samsung Fire, recently failed in its bid to oppose the merger between Samsung C&T, the construction arm of Samsung Group, and fashion and chemical affiliate Cheil Industries.

“Elliott has been awfully quiet since the shareholders’ meeting, and this has generally been translated as a sign that it may be giving up on making further moves to agitate the firms,” said Cho Yoon-ho, an analyst at Dongbu Securities.

Shareholders of Samsung C&T approved the merger on July 17.

Samsung C&T shares have fallen around 17 percent since the approval and are currently trading near the price at which the company is offering to buy back shares from holders who opposed the merger.

Samsung C&T has offered to buy back shares at 57,234 won ($49.08) apiece, with the deadline for requests set for Aug. 6.

At current share prices, Elliott is losing big from its Samsung C&T investment - the U.S. hedge fund purchased 3.39 million shares, or a 2.17 percent stake, in Samsung C&T at 63,560 won per share, according to their regulatory filing.

Elliott has not disclosed how much it paid for its remaining 7.73 million shares, or 4.95 percent stake, but the shares are estimated at around 58,974 won apiece, the average Samsung C&T share prices from February to June 2.

Market insiders, however, also speculate that Elliott could have already sold share futures to lock in profits.

BY PARK JUNG-YOUN [park.jungyoun@joongang.co.kr]
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