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(CES) Samsung CEO says M&A pursuits 'going well' despite delay

On the Record: Executive Interviews 11:00 January 08, 2023

By Woo Jae-yeon

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s chief executive officer has said the company was still pursuing a merger deal, even though its efforts have hit a snag.

The tech company's deal-making activities were only "delayed due to various external factors," Han Jong-hee, vice chair and co-CEO at Samsung, said at a press briefing Friday on the second day of CES 2023 in Las Vegas.

Han cited the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, China's lockdowns, tensions between the United States and China, and other macroeconomic challenges as reasons for the delay over the last year.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee speaks at a press briefing in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2023. (Yonhap)

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee speaks at a press briefing in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2023. (Yonhap)

Samsung has been eying a new M&A deal for years.

At last year's CES, Han said the company was extensively reviewing M&A opportunities in various industries.

"We are moving faster than you might think. We are open to every possibility, and I think we can deliver good news sooner or later," he said at that time.

A year has passed, however, without any news on the merger front.

"As the world is moving on from the pandemic and trying to resume normalcy, I think you can expect some good news from us," Han sounded positive again Friday on the possibility of a deal, without elaborating further.

"One thing for sure is that we are trying to do an M&A to enhance our business," he said, adding, "I can't share details with you on security concerns, but it's been going well."

The last major M&A deal of Samsung, the world's largest memory chip and smartphone vendor, came in 2016, when it acquired U.S.-based Harman International Industries, specializing in connected car solutions, for US$8 billion.

In September, speculation arose that Samsung might be interested in buying British chip designer Arm. It was before a meeting between Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. Masayoshi Son in early October. Softbank acquired Arm in 2016.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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