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Samsung SDS doubles IPO price on market debut

Samsung SDS, the IT service affiliate of Samsung Group, has doubled its IPO price on its market debut, reports ZDNet Korea's Cho Mu-hyun.

Samsung SDS opened trade at 380,000 won ($345.80) on its first day, two times higher than its initial public offering (IPO) price of 190,000 won ($172.90).

The company became the fifth largest market capitalisation on the Korean exchange, valued at 29 trillion won ($26.3 billion), threatening the fourth place held by state-owned Korea Electronics Power Corp (KEPCO), which is also valued at 29 trillion won.

The huge popularity stems from the fact that the IT service company is at the centre of Samsung Group's restructuring plan, with 19.05 percent of its stock owned by the three children, including Jay Y Lee, vice chairman and heir-apparent of the conglomerate's hospitalised chairman, Lee Kun-hee. Samsung Electronics, the flagship affiliate of Korea's largest conglomerate, also has a 22.6 percent stake.

The younger Lee owns 11.25 percent of Samsung SDS, worth over 5.6 trillion won based on the opening price, and he will likely use the cash to pay for his inheritance tax, which will be over $5 billion. The elder Lee's fortune is estimated at $11 billion to $12 billion.

Samsung is planning another IPO early next month of its de facto holding company, Cheil Industries, the conglomerate's amusement park company that was previously named Samsung Everland, and currently has an estimated listing price of $1.4 billion.

Many analysts believe that Samsung is on its way to streamline its ownership structure from its current complicated shareholding structure to a more straightforward holding company structure, amid pressure from the Park Geun-hye administration's chaebol reform drive.

Samsung SDS's $1.1 billion listing also became the third largest in South Korea's history. The largest ever was group affiliate Samsung Life's 4.9 trillion won ($4.7 billion).

Meanwhile, Samsung SDS, which relies on other Samsung affiliates for over 80 percent of its revenue in IT logistics, vowed to expand globally following the boost from the IPO. South Korea is currently barring conglomerates from clinching IT projects in the public sector and favouring small and mid-sized firms, putting pressure on the likes of Samsung SDS to expand abroad.

Samsung SDS posted an operating profit of 131 billion won ($119 million) and revenue of 1.8 trillion won ($16.3 billion) for the third quarter of the year, a drop of 9.7 percent and a rise of 2.4 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

Source: ZDNet.co.kr