Samsung surprises with bid for pricey Seoul plot

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Samsung surprises with bid for pricey Seoul plot

Samsung Group entered open bidding on Monday for a valuable plot of land in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. Hyundai Motor Group, which was widely expected to fight for the site, withdrew.

The land spans 31,657 square meters (7.8 acres), and its price is estimated by experts at a minimum of 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion). The Seoul Metropolitan Government-run Seoul Medical Center was formerly located on the land and has relocated to Jung District in central Seoul.

The open bidding closed at 6 p.m. on Monday, and the final price will be disclosed at 10 a.m. on Aug. 25.

“Management reviewed until the last minute whether the land was worth developing and reached the conclusion that we should not participate in the bidding,” a Hyundai spokesman said.

Samsung, on the other hand, said it decided to take part in the bid to expand the land it already owns in the area. The bidding was about to mark the second time in a year that the country’s two biggest business groups clashed over a piece of land in Gangnam District, home to some of the priciest real estate in the capital.

Last August, Hyundai Motor, the biggest unit of Hyundai Motor Group, outbid Samsung Electronics for its new headquarters in the 79,342-square-meter land owned and occupied by the state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), paying a record $10.5 billion for the site - three times the land’s appraised value.

The sale was by far the most expensive single real estate transaction in Asia since the global financial crisis, according to CBRE Research.

Kepco auctioned its land as it is set to relocate south of Seoul.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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