Samsung Electronics’ shares have jumped on news that it could be the subject of a hostile takeover bid from the activist billionaire US investor Carl Icahn and various hedge funds. The report, in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper quoted, an unnamed high-ranking Samsung official.
Foreign investors already own just over 49% of its shares, but they are unhappy with the sluggish share performance and may be looking for ways to pressure the company into action such as buying back shares to lift the price. Icahn did that successfully with a South Korean cigarette maker last year.
At the same time Samsung said its second-quarter net profit was down 5% from a year ago, but analysts had expected worse and the company said that the outlook for the second half is brighter with the market for computer memory chips expected to recover.