Booyoung, Samsung ink deal

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Booyoung, Samsung ink deal

Local construction giant Booyoung Group acquired Samsung Life Insurance’s headquarters, located in central Seoul, in a deal signed Friday.

The building was reportedly sold for around 580 billion won ($484 million).

The affiliate of Samsung Group will move to the group’s headquarters in Seocho District, southern Seoul.

“Samsung Life Insurance will move into the Seocho headquarters by the third quarter this year after Booyoung finishes paying the remainder,” a source at Samsung Group told the Korea JoongAng Daily on Friday on the condition of anonymity.

Booyoung first approached Samsung to make a deal in mid-December, when negotiations between Samsung and KB Financial Group over the building fell apart, according to a number of industry insiders.

Samsung Life Insurance’s headquarters is located directly next to that of Booyoung Group.

The JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, reported that the two companies continued their negotiation on the price until late Thursday night.

“The deal didn’t come easy and we had to go through difficulties until the last minute,” said a representative of Samsung Life Insurance, who requested anonymity. At first, Samsung also wanted to sell the group’s previous headquarters, also located in central Seoul, but the two groups eventually settled on solely the Samsung Life Insurance’s building.

Booyoung is one of the biggest local companies in the housing industry, with more than 300,000 of its apartment units currently being rented around the nation.

The group ranked 36th among Korean companies by asset size in 2004, but jumped to 19th last year. Booyoung currently operates 16 affiliates in Korea.


BY KIM TAE-YOON, KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]
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