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July 14, 2015

Samsung C&T sweetens $8bn deal with walnut cakes

Samsung's construction wing is courting undeclared investors in run up to Cheil merger deal.

By CBR Staff Writer

Just days ahead of its proxy battle for its $8bn merger, Samsung’s construction wing Samsung C&T is courting undeclared investors into backing the $8bn merger.

The merger has to be supported by two-thirds of votes, and presently nearly one-third of Samsung C&T shareholders are believed to support the plan.

The merger with Cheil Industries, Samsung‘s de facto holding company, will strengthen Lee family’s grip on the group after Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-hee was hospitalised following a heart attack.

In order to win votes, Samsung C&T also went with front-page ads in local newspapers to gain support after weeks of courtship of retail and institutional investors.

Reuters cited one shareholder with 3,000 shares in the company as saying that C&T representatives came to his place three times last week to get his vote, with one occasion seeing the representative bringing along walnut cakes in order to win favour.

Elliott Associates, which holds 7.1% stake in Samsung C&T, tried its best to stop the merger, claiming that it was unfair for the rest of the shareholders. However, the South Korean court gave its approval to hold a shareholder vote for the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.

However, Elliott claims that it has significant number of proxy votes against the merger from retail shareholders.

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