Samsung SDS Co., a key IT unit of the country's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, said Thursday it plans to go public on the main bourse by the end of this year, a move that industry watchers linked to the group's management succession to the next generation of the owner family.
The company provides information and communications technology services at home and abroad. It said the latest decision came in line with its efforts to expand its business to the overseas market.
"Recently, global IT companies such as the U.S.'s Facebook and Twitter and China's Weibo have been seeking to be listed on stock markets to secure cash to fund research and establish infrastructure, while acquiring liquidity," Samsung SDS said in a release.
"If Samsung SDS is to expand its global business, it needs to gain capital and seek exchanges with other firms. We believe being listed on the stock market will accelerate this effort," it added.
Jun Dong-soo, head of Samsung SDS, added the firm also aims to acquire technologies in the cloud, big-data and the Internet of Things sectors, in a bid to cover the communications and healthcare businesses as well.
The company has been reorganizing its business structure since last year, expanding into logistics, IT and mobile industries.
Last year, Samsung SDS had merged with Samsung SNS Co., explaining the move as helping business competitiveness and making inroads into overseas markets such as China.
Market watchers believe that Samsung's latest move is in line with the group's management succession to the next generation of the owner family.
Samsung Electronics Co., the flagship unit of the group, held a
22.58 percent stake in Samsung SDS at end-2013, while Lee Jay-yong, the only son of Samsung's chairman Lee Kun-hee and vice chairman of the tech unit, owned 11.3 percent.
The chairman's daughter Lee Boo-jin, who heads Hotel Shilla, another Samsung affiliate, held a 4.18 percent stake in Samsung SDS, and her sister Lee Seo-hyun, head of the fashion division in Samsung Everland Inc., the group's de facto holding firm, claimed 4.18 percent.
Samsung SDS said the key shareholders will maintain their shares even after the listing, adding the move came in response to smaller shareholders' request. The details of the listing procedure will be released later in the month.
Samsung affiliates have been going through a series of regrouping, with Samsung SDI Co. merging with Cheil Industries Co., and Samsung General Chemicals Co. taking over Samsung Petrochemical Co. earlier this year. (Yonhap)