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Samsung confident of winning votes on merger deal

Posted July. 09, 2015 02:31,   


Samsung C&T on Wednesday expressed confidence in winning at a shareholders meeting on July 17, where its merger deal with Cheil Industries will be put to a vote. "I`m confident that the merger proposal will be approved of if the National Pension Service approves," Samsung C&T CEO Kim Shin told reporters Wednesday morning at Samsung Electronics headquarters in southern Seoul, ahead of the weekly meeting with Samsung affiliate CEOs. "I`ve heard that the National Pension Service is acquiring various information from the market," Kim said. "We expect that the National Pension Service will form a conclusion in a good way."

As of June 11 when the stockholders` list was set for Samsung C&T, the stakes held by those in special relations with Samsung reached 13.82 percent. Combined with the 5.96 percent stake in KCC, a friendly shareholder to Samsung C&T, the total stake reaches 19.78 percent. Assuming that about 70 percent of shareholders join the shareholders` meeting, 47 percent, or two-thirds, should vote for the merger, for the proposal to pass through. As Kim hinted, Samsung already holds votes in the mid to upper 30 percent in favor of the merger (friendly stakes in Samsung, KCC and domestic institutional investors).

"Yes, votes are coming from not only domestic institutions but also from overseas," Kim said. "There will be no recalculation of the merger ratio."

While the world`s largest proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended shareholders to reject the offer on July 3, Samsung Group CEOs voiced criticism. Samsung Securities CEO Yoon Yong-am said, "I believe that ISS` authority has been damaged due to its report opposing the merger." Samsung Biologics CEO Kim Tae-han said, "When evaluating corporate value, it is inevitable for subjectivity to intervene when future value is converted to present value."

It is a surprising change for Samsung Group CEOs to openly express their opinions whereas they had so far remained cautious. Some say it was top Samsung management`s decision that active response is necessary as Elliott is trying to appeal to public sentiment.