Samsung Electronics announced on Tuesday it is considering splitting itself into a holding company and an operating company in order to boost shareholder value, in what could be the biggest shake-up in the South Korean tech giant’s history.
According to Reuters, the move is part of a bid to improve investor returns after Samsung came under pressure from shareholders to simplify its business structure. Critics argue that the current structure makes it difficult to value Samsung since its assets are spread across various sister companies and affiliates. Establishing a separate holding firm would bring these under one name, improve transparency, and make it easier to value Samsung Electronics’ business.
Samsung said it would also increase returns to shareholders by one third and accelerate its share buy-back program. The plans come after U.S. hedge fund Elliot Management, which owns 0.6 percent of Samsung, called for a managed split of the company last month.
A split in two of the company has been a subject of speculation among market analysts for a while and would allow Samsung to list on additional stock exchanges around the world. However, some say any potential split could hand more control back to the original family owners and be a particularly favorable outcome for Samsung heir apparent Lee Jae-Yong, who was recently nominated for a seat on the company board.