The Korea Herald


Samsung heiresses to raise W400b in big share sales

By Lee Ji-yoon

Published : March 22, 2022 - 14:42

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Hotel Shilla President Lee Boo-jin (left) and her younger sister Lee Seo-hyun, director of the Samsung Welfare Foundation Hotel Shilla President Lee Boo-jin (left) and her younger sister Lee Seo-hyun, director of the Samsung Welfare Foundation
Samsung Group’s two heiresses are reportedly seeking to raise about 400 billion won ($327 million) by selling their shares in Samsung SDS, the IT solutions unit, possibly in a move to secure funds to pay inheritance taxes.

According to industry sources Tuesday, a combined 3.9 percent stake in Samsung SDS was sold in a block trade after Monday’s closing through KB Securities and Morgan Stanley. The price ranged between 127,400 won and 129,500 won apiece, about a 7 to 9 percent discount on the closing price.

Even though the sellers were not revealed, two sisters of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong -- Lee Boo-jin, Hotel Shilla president, and Lee Seo-hyun, director of the Samsung Welfare Foundation -- were assumed to have sold the stakes.

The two were the only key investors who owned the exactly same amount of shares in Samsung SDS. Last year, they entrusted the share sales to a local bank to raise funds, with the deadline set for April 25 this year.

The block traders are gauging demand from buyers to sell the shares. If the deal is completed, the two sisters are expected to secure about 400 billion won in cash.

The big selloff is the latest of its kind since the Samsung family announced their plans to pay the whopping 12 trillion won inheritance taxes last year after the death of late Chairman Lee Kun-hee in 2020.

Based on their shareholdings across affiliates, their estimated taxes are 3.1 trillion won for Hong Ra-hee, the late chairman’s wife, 2.9 trillion won for Lee Jae-yong, the only son, 2.6 trillion won for Boo-jin, the elder daughter, and 2.4 trillion won for the youngest daughter Seo-hyun.

Because they own stakes in key affiliates, their stake sales are closely watched as they are directly linked to the family’s control over the nation’s largest conglomerate. Since last year, they have been paying the taxes in six installments.

“Because they cannot pay the taxes with dividends only, they are likely to seek to raise additional funds by selling shares or properties,” an industry source said on condition of anonymity.

Largely due to an increase in supply and its impact on investor sentiment, Samsung SDS shares tumbled more than 7 percent Tuesday to close at 130,000 won.