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Shouty investor Elliot trains guns on Samsung merger

Lawyers rub hands together as writ-slinging lawgasm commences

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Activist hedge fund Elliot Associates is to take legal action against Samsung over its merger, widely seen as a move to consolidate the power of the South Korean firm's controlling Lee family.

Last month, Sammy announced its merger with fashion, leisure and construction biz Cheil Industries, a company in which the tech giant already owns a sizable stake.

The move is seen as bolstering the power of the probable heir apparent Lee Jae-yon, as power passes from his ailing father.

Last week, US-based Elliott became Samsung C&T’s third-biggest shareholder with a 7.1 per cent stake, saying it wanted to stop the merger.

In a statement today, Elliot said it continues to believe that the proposed takeover is "clearly neither fair to, nor in the best interests of, Samsung C&T's shareholders, and that it is unlawful".

It said: "Elliott has therefore taken the step today of commencing legal proceedings for an injunction against Samsung C&T and its directors in order to seek to prevent the proposed takeover from going ahead and thereby protect the interests of Samsung C&T's shareholders."

If the merger goes ahead, the combined entity is aiming for revenues in 2020 of 60trn won (£40bn). The deal was planned to be completed on 1 September, pending approvals at shareholder meetings of the two companies, scheduled for July.

Juhwa Yoon, chief exec of Cheil Industries, described the merger as "strategic" in helping the companies "secure core competencies and grow as a leading global company".

However, it looks like Sammy could have a fight on its hands, as Elliot has a reputation for being remorseless when it comes to not taking no for an answer. ®

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