Samsung Card said on Wednesday it planned to sell a 20.64 percent stake in unlisted affiliate Samsung Everland through a block deal or initial public offering, in a deal media reports estimate could be worth more than 1 trillion won ($928 million).
Samsung Card controls 25.6 percent of Samsung Everland, the de facto holding company for the Samsung Group, and is required to lower its stake in non-financial firms below 5 percent by April next year according to Korean financial industry regulations.
The stake sale will be widely watched by investors as it could trigger big changes in the ownership structure of the Samsung conglomerate.
Amusement park operator Samsung Everland is at the top of the group's complicated cross ownership structure and is a key shareholder of Samsung Life Insurance Co, which in turn is a major shareholder of Samsung Electronics with a stake of some 7.2 percent.
Jay Y. Lee, chief operating officer and president of Samsung Electronics, the crown jewel of the business conglomerate, is the biggest shareholder of Samsung Everland with a 25.1 percent stake.
We are considering various options including block deals and an IPO but the timing of the sale has not yet been fixed, Samsung Card said in a statement.
It said it had already sent invitation letters to investment banks for the deal and would select sales advisors soon. ($1 = 1077.250 Korean Won)
(Reporting by Jungyoun Park and Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)