Samsung Group to float its theme park operator Everland

South Korean business conglomerate Samsung has announced the IPO of its de facto holding company Everland.

Everland, a diverse company that operates theme parks and zoos among others business interests, is the de facto centre of the Samsung Group’s empire due to a complex web of cross shareholdings.

The South Korean giant has diversified its interests in recent months, lessening its reliance on subsidiary Samsung Electronics in the wake of chairman Kun-hee Lee’s recent heart attack.

Samsung is a family business and the move is widely seen as a transfer of power within the Lee family to the oldest son, Lee Jae-yong, who is anticipated to take control of the conglomerate.

Korean media reports Lee Jae-yong has a 25.1% stake in Everland, and is expected to gain as much as 1.9 trillion won ($A2 billion) in the IPO by selling stock on the Korea Exchange.

Lee Jae-yong’s two sisters, Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun, each own an 8.37% in Everland.

Officials said the family is expected to get as much as 3.5 trillion won from the listing.

While Samsung hasn’t pointed to clear plan for the restructuring of the group or how the family succession may play out, analysts expect Samsung Everland to emerge as some form of control tower from which the group manages all of its affiliates.

Everland’s float is planned for the first quarter of 2015.


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