The Korea Herald

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지나쌤

Samsung chief Lee Kun-hee's health improving: official

By KH디지털2

Published : June 3, 2015 - 12:07

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South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group said Wednesday its chief Lee Kun-hee has recovered to "a stable condition," and he is receiving rehabilitation treatment.

The remark came as a local online newspaper revealed a recent photo of Lee lying on a bed at Seoul-based Samsung Medical Center on Tuesday. It marked the first time for a photo of the tycoon to be revealed since he was hospitalized in May last year after suffering a heart attack.

"As I have said several times before, things have not changed much," said group communications chief Lee Jun during a weekly meeting with reporters. "(The chairman) has recovered to a stable condition and is receiving a continuous rehabilitation program."

When asked if Samsung Group is seeking a lawsuit over a possible violation of the tycoon's privacy, the chief spokesman said the conglomerate is "reviewing (a potential lawsuit) in various ways."

"The privacy of public figures is usually not strictly protected ... but we will conduct a review," he said.

The spokesman also said the envisioned merger between Cheil Industries Co. and Samsung C&T Co. will cast a brighter outlook on the group, brushing aside market concerns that the two may fail to create synergies as they focus on different industries.

"Although we acknowledge some analysts and investors are negative about the move, I do not believe they are the majority," Lee said.

At their respective board meetings on May 26, the two companies agreed to merge with each other. Formerly known as Samsung Everland Co., Cheil Industries is the de facto holding company of Samsung Group, and Samsung C&T is the group's construction and trading arm.

The latest move came amid Samsung's possible leadership shift from Kun-hee to his only son Jay-yong, vice president of Samsung Electronics.

Once the merger is completed, Jay-yong will become the biggest shareholder of the new Samsung C&T at 16.5 percent and rise to stand at the top of the group's hierarchy. (Yonhap)