Samsung Everland, a theme park operator and de facto holding company of Samsung Group, is expected to change its name to Cheil Industries.
Samsung Everland will hold a board meeting early next month to approve the change, the company’s spokesperson Park Hyung-keun confirmed on Sunday.
“As Samsung Everland’s business has become diversified, it needs a new name to fit its new role. Cheil Industries seems suitable for its new company name from a historical and symbolic perspective,” he said.
The name change had been widely expected, since Cheil Industries officially handed over all fashion-related business to Samsung Everland in December. When Samsung SDI announced it would merge with Cheil Industries in March, the speculation became clearer. The move also shows Samsung’s willingness to keep the name of Cheil Industries, the company that Samsung Group was built on when it was set up by the late founder Lee Byung-chul in 1954.
As part of the renaming, Everland Resort is also expected to include both “Samsung” and “Cheil” in its English name as the former is more recognizable to international audiences. Everland, previously called Yongin Jayeon Nongwon, opened in 1976 as the first family amusement park in the country.
In the meantime, industry watchers predicted that Samsung Everland would play a pivotal role in the nation’s largest conglomerate’s power transition from the current chairman Lee Kun-hee to his three children. The company has long been a key part of Samsung’s cross-shareholdings, which has allowed the owner family to control the group’s affiliates while holding tiny stakes.
Samsung Everland will seek an initial public offering by the first quarter of 2015. Lee’s three children are expected to raise around 5 trillion won ($4.8 billion) from the IPO, which could cover the cost for the succession.
Lee Jay-yong, Lee’s only son and Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman, owns a 25.1 percent stake in Samsung Everland. His sisters Boo-jin, who heads Hotel Shilla, and Seo-hyun, head of the fashion division at Samsung Everland, each hold 8.4 percent stakes.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)