The Samsung Group is planning to sell its remaining shares in Hanwha General Chemical to Bain Capital for 700 billion won. Investment experts are predicting that Samsung will spend the money to increase its stakes in its future growth drivers such as Samsung Bioepis.
Samsung C&T and Samsung SDI announced on April 26 that they selected Bain Capital as the preferred bidder for the 24.1% stakes they hold in Hanwha General Chemical. The proceeds from the sale is approximately one trillion won, with about 700 billion won going to Samsung C&T after paying taxes and expenses.
Samsung C&T explained that the stake sale is not for a specific investment. The sale came more than two years after Samssung Group sold its chemical and defens business units to Hanwha Group in 2015.
Analysts speculate that Samsung C&T may use the money to acquire a stake in Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture between Samsung BioLogics and Biogen of the United States.
Biogen, which currently has a 5.4 percent stake in Samsung Bioepis, officially announced on April 24 that it would exercise its call option allowing it to purchase up to 49.9 percent of Samsung Bioepis shares. The call option expires in June.
If Biogen increases its stake in Samsung Bioepis to 49.9 percent, it needs to invest about 400 billion won. But it can earn several times more than its investment by selling off its increased stake as the market value of Samsung Bioepis has risen to about 10 trillion won.
According to market insiders, Biogen is likely to take profits by selling part of its increased stake in Samsung Bioepis.
Samsung C&T is likely to use the proceeds from the sale of its stake in Hanwha General Chemical in obtaining a stake in Samsung Bioepis as the company is regarded as a future growth engine for Samsung Group.
But the company announced on April 10 that it had no plan to invest in Samsung Bioepis.
At present, Samsung C&T’s total cashable assets are estimated at three trillion won.