Samsung family members sell $2B worth of shares to pay inheritance taxes

By Dat Nguyen   January 11, 2024 | 07:28 pm PT
Samsung family members sell $2B worth of shares to pay inheritance taxes
The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea South Korea, October 11, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji
Family members of Samsung Electronics chairman Jay Y. Lee have sold 2.8 trillion won (US$2.12 billion) worth of shares in the company and its affiliates to pay inheritance taxes.

The sale of about 29.8 million shares, or a 0.5% stake in Samsung Electronics, was at a discount of 1.2% to 2.0% from Samsung shares' Wednesday closing price of 73,600 won, the Seoul Economic Daily reported, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

Shares in affiliates Samsung C&T, Samsung SDS and Samsung Life Insurance were also offered at the same time in block deals seen worth around 644 billion won for the same purpose, the report said.

The shares were sold by Hong Ra-hee, the widow of late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee, and her children, including Jay Y. Lee.

Korea's top inheritance tax rate of 50% is considerably greater than the OECD's typical rate of 25% and is second only to Japan's 55%. It is therefore not uncommon for members of Korea's chaebol families to sell company shares or secure bank loans using those shares as collateral to cover their inheritance tax obligations, according to The Korea Times.

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