Samsung Group to sell stakes in chemical and defence units to Hanwha Group for $1.72 bn

SamsungSamsung Group today said that it will sell stakes in four chemical and defence units to Hanwha Group for 1.9 trillion won ($1.72 billion), as part of restructuring of South Korea's largest conglomerate.

The Seoul–based group will sell Samsung Techwin, Samsung Thales, Samsung General Chemicals, Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co to Hanwha, and the deal is expected to close within the first half of next year, Samsung Group said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, Samsung Electronics, Samsung C&T, Samsung Securities and other affiliates will sell their 32.4 per cent share of Samsung Techwin and Samsung Thales to Hanwha Holdings for 840 billion won ($758 million) and Samsung C&T, Samsung SDI, Samsung Electro-Mechanics will sell their 57.6 per cent share of Samsung General Chemicals and Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co to Hanwha Chemical and Hanwha Energy for 1.6 trillion won ($1.44 billion).

Samsung C&T, which holds a 38.4-per cent in Samsung General Chemical, will retain 18.5 per cent stake and collaborate with Hanwha in chemical businesses.

Founded in 1977 as a precision instrument laboratory, Samsung Techwin is a surveillance, aeronautics, optoelectronics, automations and weapons technology company. It employs 4923 employees and has annual sales of 2,947 billion won.

Samsung Thales Co Ltd, a joint venture unit with French defence electronics firm Thales.

Founded in 1988, Samsung General Chemicals formed an equal joint venture in 2003 with Total SA of France and produces petroleum products, chemical products like SM and synthetic resins like PE/PP.

The sale comes as the Samsung group chairman Lee Kun Hee, who suffered a heart attack in May, prepares to handover reins of the group to his only son and heir apparent Lee Jae Yong.

Last week, Samsung Heavy Industries called off a proposed merger with Samsung Engineering after shareholders opposed the deal due to high cost of buying back stock.