Samsung Life plans to buy Samsung Electronics' stake in Samsung Card for around $1.17 bn

Samsung Life Insurance Co Ltd is planning to buy its subsidiary Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's entire stake in affiliate Samsung Card Co Ltd valued at around 1.42 trillion won ($1.17 billion), South Korean online newspaper Money Today reported, citing unnamed sources.

Samsung Life Insurance, which already owns 34.4 percent of the Samsung Group credit card business, plans to vote today on acquiring Samsung Electronics' 37.5 per cent stake in the credit card arm, the report said.

Founded in 1988 as a technical and business company licensed by Samsung Electronics, Samsung Card Co is South Korea's largest credit card company with 5 million cards issued.

The purchase will give majority control to Samsung's founding Lee family, which controls the $300 billion multinational conglomerate.

The transaction also comes two years after Samsung group chairman Lee Kun Hee, who suffered a heart attack in 2014, handed over the reins of the group to his only son and heir apparent Lee Jae Yong.

Although Lee Kun Hee holds only 3.4 per cent stake in Samsung Electronics, whose revenue accounts for 16 per cent of Korea's GDP, he controls the group through ownership of shares in other Samsung companies and cross-shareholdings.