The Korea Herald


Samsung chief’s mother sells stakes to pay taxes

By Lee Ji-yoon

Published : March 24, 2022 - 12:44

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Hong Ra-hee (Yonhap) Hong Ra-hee (Yonhap)
Hong Ra-hee, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s mother, reportedly sold her shares in the company worth 1.3 trillion won ($1.06 billion) in a block trade Wednesday, the latest stake sale by the Samsung family being carried out apparently to pay inheritance taxes.

According to industry sources on Thursday, Hong entrusted the sale of her 0.33 percent stake in Samsung Electronics to KB Bank in September last year and the stake was sold in a block deal through Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs after Wednesday’s closing.

The deal price was 68,800 won apiece, a 2.4 percent discount on the closing price of 75,000 won.

The stake sale by Hong, the wife of late Chairman Lee Kun-hee, comes two days after her two daughters – Lee Boo-jin, Hotel Shilla president, and Lee Seo-hyun, director of the Samsung Welfare Foundation – sold their combined 3.9 percent shares in Samsung SDS, the IT solutions unit, to secure 400 billion won in cash.

Last year, the Samsung family announced plans to pay the whopping 12 trillion won in heritance taxes for the next five years following the death of the Samsung patriarch in 2020.

Taxes for inherited shares make up most of the total amount: 3.1 trillion won for Hong, 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 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.

“Given more than 50 percent favorable shares owned by Samsung affiliates and the owner family, the impact seems limited in their governance structure,” said Choi Kwan-soon, an analyst at SK Securities.

Due to an increase in supply, share prices usually fall after a big sell-off. But he predicted a limited impact over the long term, saying the stake sale has nothing to do with the business fundamentals of Samsung companies.

On Thursday, Samsung Electronics shares closed at 69,800 won, down 0.99 percent from the previous trading day.