Samsung, the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate) was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938. Following Lee’s death in 1987, Samsung was separated into four business groups – Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group. The founder’s third son Lee Kun-Hee took over the reins of the Samsung group in 1987. Under his guidance, the company was transformed into the most prominent Asian brand worldwide. It had revenues of $170 billion in 2015.
Last year, the construction firm Samsung C&T and Samsung’s de facto holding company, Cheil Industries were merged. The merger was a crucial step for the founding Lee family to consolidate control of the conglomerate, ahead of a generational transfer of power from ailing patriarch Lee Kun-Hee.
The merger was however contested by five key shareholders on grounds that the deal undervalued the construction firm Samsung C&T. A South Korean appeals court has now ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered that the five minority shareholders receive a bigger payout. The ruling could raise the price of the merger for the Samsung Group by about $26 million.