Samsung (SSNLF) is South Korea's largest "chaebol," or family-run business group, accounting for around a fifth of the country's exports. Samsung alone is responsible for about 20 percent of the country's $1.1 trillion economy. For reference, government spending there also makes up about 20 percent of GDP.
Samsung Group had total annual revenue of over $300 billion. It ranks number 20 on the Forbes list of the world’s largest public companies. The conglomerate was tied together by an extremely complicated system of cross shareholdings that analysts refer to as "circular ownership." "Samsung Group is not a legal entity," the conglomerate's website explains. "Samsung Group is a term to conveniently refer to a group of companies that are tied together by their corporate history."
In July 2017 Samsung Electronics recorded its largest quarterly profits in the company's 48-year history. The South Korean tech giant on 07 July 2017 posted its earnings estimate for the second quarter of the year, putting its operating profit at US$12.1 billion, up 72 percent on-year. This surpassed Apple's profit for this quarter, estimated at US$10 billion dollars. Samsung's sales revenue hit US$51.8 billion dollars, 18.6 percent higher than the previous quarter. Samsung is expected to overtake Intel as the global market leader in semiconductor sales. Intel had been the world's biggest chipmaker by revenue since January 1993.
Samsung chief Lee Kun-hee was hospitalized in May 2014 after a heart attack and had been in the hospital since. Samsung and the Lee family had been engaged in a decade-plus of maneuvering with a simple goal of transferring share ownership and control over various Samsung Group companies to the next-generation Lee family.
The only son of Chairman Lee Kun-hee, Lee Jae-yong is the key figure in a number of irregularities involving the Samsung Group, including the sale of Everland convertible bonds (CB). The sale was allegedly aimed at an illegal transfer of management rights for the nation’s largest theme park operator and de facto holding company of the Samsung Group. Related suspicions were first raised when the Samsung chairman gave six billion won to his son in 1995 after his health had begun to deteriorate the year before. With the money, Lee’s family bought stock in two non-listed firms and later sold the same shares for 56 billion won after the two firms became listed. With the 56 billion, the Lee family acquired shares in Samsung Everland, Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Corporation and Samsung SDS through CBs in an alleged bid to expand its control over the entire Samsung Group. Lee Jay-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. and heir apparent to its parent Samsung Group, emerged as the fourth-richest stockholder in South Korea following the high-profile listing of Samsung SDS.
Samsung Group announced 26 November 2014 it would sell four chemical and defense units to Hanwha Group in a deal estimated at 1.9 trillion won (US$1.72 billion) as it continued its business reorganization for an eventual management transfer to the next generation of family. South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group would acquire defense firm Samsung Techwin Co Ltd and three other Samsung Group affiliates. Samsung Techwin shares tumbled by the daily-limit 15%, set for steepest fall since September 2000, after Samsung Group said it planned to sell a combined 32.4% stake in Techwin to Hanwha Group for 840 billion won (US$758.9 million). Hanwha also acquired unlisted Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co Ltd, Samsung General Chemicals Co Ltd and Samsung Thales Co Ltd, and a joint venture with French defense electronics firm Thales. The acquisitions put Hanhwa at the top of the defense industry it was built on. The conglomerate was designated a defense firm in 1974. When combined with Samsung's defense units, Hanwha Group's defense sales are expected to reach 2.6 trillion won, a sharp rise from 1.18 trillion won in 2013.
Samsung Electronics recaptured the top market share in U.S. smartphone sales. According to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, a Hong Kong market research firm, Samsung held a 28-point-eight percent market share in March. Samsung hadn't been the top sell since April the previous year. Apple’s market share fell from 33-point-nine percent to 23 percent. Meanwhile, Chinese firms appeared to be struggling in the U.S. The world’s number-three smartphone maker, Huawei, held one percent of the U.S. market while Xiaomi has failed to enter the U.S., partially due to intellectual property issues. Chinese brands Vivo and Oppo also failed to enter the U.S. market.
The presidential corruption probe escalated to a new level on 16 January 2017 as the independent counsel requested a warrant for the arrest of Samsung heir and de facto leader Lee Jae-yong on three charges -- bribery, embezzlement and perjury. In seeking the warrant, the independent counsel concluded that serving justice is far more important than the possible impact the arrest could have on the national economy.
According to the independent counsel office, the Korean tech giant funneled 43 billion Korean won, or more than 36 million U.S. dollars to Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of the Korean president and the woman at the center of the scandal. That includes a consulting contract with Core Sports worth more than 18 million U.S. dollars, a contribution of over one.three million dollars to the Winter Sports Elite Center and a donation of over 17 million dollars to the Mir and K Sports foundations -- all of which were controlled by either by Choi or her associates.
The independent counsel believes the money was given by Samsung in exchange for support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates, Samsung C&T and Cheil industries. The merger was deemed critical to finalizing Lee's succession to the top of the country's biggest business group.
The independent counsel team also indicted Moon Hyung-pyo, the head of Korea's National Pension Service, on charges of perjury and abuse of authority, alleging that he pressured the NPS to approve the controversial merger, which is believed to have cost the NPS millions of dollars in losses but helped empower Lee Jae-yong.
Samsung Heavy Industries
Korea’s shipbuilding industry, the former global industry leader, was on the brink of collapse by 2016. On 11 June 2016 Korea's three major shipbuilding corporations -- Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy industries -- won approval from their creditors and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance for their individual self-rescue plans. Under Samsung Heavy Industries' 1.3-billion-dollar plan, the company would cut its workforce and sell off non-business assets, including the Samsung Hotel on Geoje-do island.
Samsung Group's shipbuilding and engineering units announced 01 September 2014 they would merge before the year's end as the nation's top conglomerate sped up its restructuring drive. Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung Engineering say they would proceed with the merger with a stock ratio of 2.3-6 Samsung Heavy Industries shares per one Samsung Engineering share. Both units said this would provide a synergy effect in designing, purchasing and managing onshore as well as offshore plants. The company hoped the merger, set to be completed by December 1st would boost their revenue by 60 percent from last year to a combined 40 billion dollars by the year 2020.
Samsung Heavy Industries successfully completed diverse projects with the aim of securing global leadership in various sectors including shipbuilding, offshore, machinery & electric systems. Most notably, it has achieved unbeatable leadership in the high-tech high-value shipbuilding sector by maintaining a large share of the drill ship, LNG carrier and FPSO markets.
The company has developed and built the first Arctic Shuttle-Tanker and LNG-FPSOs in the world, and has pioneered new market developments by developing innovative products such as LNG-FSRU, and various ships for polar applications, Arctic Ice-Breaker Container Ships. In the offshore facilities sector, the company has fortified its reputation through its excellent technology and rich experience, by successfully delivering the world’s largest semi-submerged offshore drilling platform.
In addition, the company has operated the electricity and electronics business by converging its shipbuilding & offshore business with digital technology. It provides ship network systems, FuGas(fuel gas supply & storage system) and PURIMAR(ballast water management system). Its technological excellence has been highly recognized in the global markets.
Samsung Heavy Industries was established in 1974, the year the company's Changwon Plant opened. SHI soon began to lay the foundation to becomea major heavy industries player. Shipbuilding and construction of Geoje Shipbuilding facilities commenced and there was a merger with Daesung Heavy Industries. Samsung Heavy Industries was established in 1974, the year the company's Changwon Plant opened. SHI soon began to lay the foundation to becomea major heavy industries player. Shipbuilding and construction of Geoje Shipbuilding facilities commenced and there was a merger with Daesung Heavy Industries.
To respond to the era of globalization and the opening of markets, Samsung Heavy Industries has actively pursued a quality-centered management philosophy. While pursuing quality advancement in overall operations by introducing the new management philosophy at the group level, the company actively expanded the motor business and strategic businesses, and reorganized its business structure through selection and concentration.
SHI began to build super-sized LNG carriers and large passenger ships withthe intent of entering the cruise ship market in earnest, and exported shipbuilding technologies to the U.S. In addition, the company developed high value-added ships such as world's first Arctic shuttle tanker and high-end drillship.It is set to continue to develop advanced technologies and create high value-added business to take a lead in the construction and IT market abroad as well as at home.
Since its foundation in 1974, Samsung Heavy Industries has received orders for a total of 1,078 ships (as of the end of 2014) from the world’s leading shipping companies. The company has already delivered 975 of these vessels and continues to be recognized for its outstanding technology and superior quality. Samsung Heavy Industries is a leader in the high-technology/high added value ship market and has built the world’s largest 266,000m3 LNG Carrier(2008) and has secured orders for the world’s first ever very large ethane carrier, or VLEC (2014), and the world’s largest 21,100TEU container ship (2015).
Samsung Heavy Industries is also credited with opening a new chapter in polar oil shipping by building the world’s first Arctic Shuttle Tanker (2007) and securing orders for 6 additional Arctic Shuttle Tankers from European shipping companies (2014). Through the development of a proprietary membrane type LNG Carrier cargo hold design (September 2011), the first of its kind in the domestic industry, the company further enhanced its competence in LNG Carrier building.
Meanwhile, Samsung Heavy Industries, after completing an environmentally friendly LNG-SRV in 2009, announced its green movement in 2010 and continues to pursue technology development for improved energy efficiency. These efforts include the developments related to optimized ship hull designs to minimize fuel consumption, waste heat recovery devices, low temperature combustion, and environmentally friendly apparatuses and materials.
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