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Number of top 10 groups' units soars 17.5 pct over 5 years

Industry 08:21 March 29, 2021

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- The number of subsidiaries belonging to South Korea's top 10 conglomerates has jumped nearly 18 percent over the past five years to nearly 700, data showed Monday.

No. 1 conglomerate Samsung and nine leading business groups had a combined 699 listed and unlisted companies under their wings as of end-December 2020, up 17.5 percent, or 104, from five years earlier, according to the data based on their business reports filed with the Financial Supervisory Service.

SK Group and six other conglomerates increased the number of subsidiaries over the five-year period, while Samsung and two others cut down on units.

The number of units owned by SK, the third-largest conglomerate, surged by 37 over the cited period, the largest among the 10 biggest conglomerates and accounting for more than one-third of the total hike.

Hanwha, with a business portfolio ranging from solar energy to aerospace, came next with 27, followed by food and entertainment juggernaut CJ with 21 and retail giant Shinsegae with 12.

Top conglomerate Samsung cut the number of its units by three over the five-year period, and LG and Lotte groups eliminated four and three units, respectively.

Last year, the 10 leading conglomerates jacked up the number of their subsidiaries by nine.

As of the end of 2020, SK had the most units at 127, trailed by Lotte with 85, Hanwha with 80 and CJ with 79. Samsung had 59 subsidiaries, with No. 2 Hyundai Motor Group owning 55.

The headquarters of SK Group in central Seoul (Yonhap)


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