South Korean consumer electronic giants Samsung Electronics shares worth around $1.1 billion were sold in a block deal on Thursday, according to a document, which some analysts attributed to the Samsung conglomerate’s controlling family raising cash to meet a mammoth tax bill.
South Korea’s Kookmin Bank sold nearly 19.9 million Samsung shares at 68,000 won per share, a discount of 2.4% to Wednesday’s closing price of 70,500 won, a term sheet of the deal obtained by Reuters revealed.
The shares on sale matched the amount that the Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee’s mother and deceased Samsung patriarch Lee Kun-Hee’s wife agreed to keep in a trust with Kookmin Bank in October, according to a Samsung Electronics filing that month.
The filing revealed the trust agreement period to end by April 25.
Since Samsung’s patriarch Lee died in 2020, Samsung’s controlling family decided to use shares in affiliated companies to pay part of more than $10 billion in inheritance tax. South Korea’s tax code allows payments in installments, with one-sixth of the total paid initially and the remainder over the next five years with an annual interest rate.
Even with the tax being paid in installments, analysts expect over 2 trillion won ($1.64 billion) to be due annually.
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