Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman Lee Jae-yong reportedly arrived at Haneda Airport of Japan on March 18 via Korean Air. Samsung Group shortly said, “It’s for a business meeting.” However, there are diverse interpretations in the market due to his visiting time and destination.
Lee is scheduled to attend the Boao Forum, known as the Asian version of Switzerland’s Davos Forum, to be held on Hainan Island in China on March 22. He will attend a board meeting of the forum on the 23rd and speak as a panelist for a session designed to discuss how to deal with lingering uncertainty over the global economy. Lee took the board member position with a three-year term from SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won in April 2013.
Some say he is visiting Japan in his hectic schedule in order to talk about the delayed takeover deal of Sharp.
Japanese electronics giant Sharp has chosen Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the largest firm in Taiwan and the holding company of Foxconn that offered to invest around 700 billion yen (US$6.29 billion or 7.74 trillion won) at the end of last month, as its preferred bidder in takeover talks. However, Hon Hai Group haven’t finalized the deal yet, bringing 300 billion yen (US$2.7 billion or 3.13 trillion won) of Sharp's contingent liabilities into question.
Samsung Electronics made an effort to acquire Sharp for a long time and it was once mentioned as a potential investor. Previously, Samsung Electronics invested 10.4 billion yen (US$93.46 million or 120 billion won) to purchase a 3 percent stake in Sharp in March 2013.