Tech giant Samsung Electronics is considering whether to transition to a holding company structure, a move long expected as the next succession step for the founding Lee family's heirs. As Laura Frykberg reports, the world's top maker of smartphones, memory chips and televisions is also examining the potential benefits of listing its shares on other overseas markets.
It makes more mobile phones than any other company. But for Samsung Electronics - quantity doesn't necessarily mean quality. Since the Galaxy Note 7 exploding battery scandal - pressure's been building for the business to boost its share value. In October - it was suggested Samsung could split in two. Now the company's confirmed it's seriously considering it. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SENIOR ANALYST OF RESEARCH CENTRE AND EQUITY RESEARCH TEAM OF IBK SECURITIES, KIM JANG-WON, SAYING: "Samsung's moving to a holding company structure which is what investors already had in mind so it's largely been priced into the market. That's why Samsung stock closed flat." The split would be in order to reshape the company. Which has been criticised for its complex ownership structure, poor corporate governance and inefficient cash management. It's also seen as a way for its vice chair - Jay Y. Lee - to increase his control. He's the likely successor of his 74-year-old father - who's been in hospital for the past two years. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) CEO OF RESEARCH FIRM CHAEBUL.COM, CHUNG SUN-SUP, SAYING: "Ultimately the Samsung Group is required to have stable and firm controlling management by strengthening Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee's control." Samsung is considering listing its shares overseas too. And has hired advisers to review the whole company. If all this goes ahead - it will be the biggest shake-up in Samsung's 47-year history.