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Samsung reiterates 2015 merger was ‘legitimate’

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Samsung Electronics reiterated Sunday that the merger of its two key affiliates that was allegedly fast-tracked to allow Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to wrest control of the conglomerate was completely legitimate.

The company said in a statement that the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 took place legitimately, a day before a review of the arrest warrant for Lee.

The statement that started with, “Samsung is in crisis,” said, “To overcome this crisis, management must be normalized.”

The South Korean tech giant stressed that the merger took place under relevant legal regulations and procedures. And, Samsung Biologics’ accounting was also handled as per international standards.

It asked news outlets to refrain from excessive reporting of something not based on facts, adding the report that (Samsung) manipulated market prices for the merger was also untrue.

“These (news) reports not only distort objective judicial judgment but are undesirable, not only for Samsung but also for the future of our economy.”

It added the current crisis is something that Samsung has never experienced before.

“The long-term prosecution investigation has dampened regular management. The coronavirus crisis and the trade dispute between the US and China are intensifying the external uncertainties.”

It said Samsung employees will do their best to overcome this crisis and make utmost efforts to overcome the crisis in the Korean economy, asking the media to help Samsung play that role.

Prosecutors sought arrest warrants for Lee and three other Samsung officials in connection with the scandal on Friday. The questioning of suspects, which will take place on Monday morning, will determine whether they will be arrested.

In February 2017, Lee was arrested for allegedly seeking political support for the controversial merger and spent a year in prison before being released on probation by an appeals court. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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