Heirs say tanks for the shares: Samsung sells defence and petrochemical divisions as part of Lee family succession plan

Heirs say tanks for the shares: Samsung sells defence and petrochemical divisions as part of Lee family succession plan

Samsung Group has sold four of its companies in the defence and petrochemicals industries and has started a share buyback scheme for Samsung Electronics, as the Lee family tightens its grip on the conglomerate.

The Korea Times reports the conglomerate has sold its stake in defence companies Samsung Thales and Samsung Techwin, along with Samsung General Chemicals and Samsung Total Petrochemicals, to Hanwha Group for 1.9 trillion won ($2 billion).

Samsung Techwin makes the K9-Thunder howitzer tanks that are used to patrol South Korea’s border with North Korea, while Samsung Thales sells short-range missiles, defence communications satellites and in-flight entertainment systems.

Samsung Techwin was originally established in 1977 under the policies of then-President Chung-hee Park, shortly before his assassination. The sale to Hanwha, South Korea’s ninth-largest conglomerate, will see Samsung Group without any defence assets for the first time in over 30 years.

The shares were held by Samsung Electronics along with construction firm Samsung C&T, with the funds to be used to buy back 1.65 million common shares and 250,000 preferential shares.

The deal is the latest in a string of moves designed to transfer control of the conglomerate from its 72-year-old chairman, Kun-hee Lee, to his children Jay-yong, Boo-jin and Seo-hyun.

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