Samsung sells stakes in chemical and defense firms to Hanwha for $1.72 billion

Samsung Group announced that it is selling stakes in four chemical and defense firms to Hanwha Group in a deal worth 1.9 trillion won ($1.72 billion).

The announcement represents the latest move by the South Korean company in its to restructure itseld ahead of an expected leadership succession, and streamlining its business areas and boost overall efficiency.

Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group, will sell a 32.4 percent stake in Samsung Techwin Co Ltd to Hanwha Corp for 840 billion won. It will also sell a 57.6 percent stake in Samsung General Chemicals Co Ltd to Hanwha Chemical Corp and Hanwha Energy Corp for 1.06 trillion won.

Samsung Electronics said in a statement:

“The asset sales are expected to help Samsung Electronics raise capital resources for investment in new businesses and focus on its core competency,”

The sales are thought to have been carried out to allow the company to focus on its core business segments of information technology, financial services, ship-building, and construction.

The Samsung Group is family-run and currently chaired by Lee Kun-Hee, however he has been hospitalized since May because of a heart attack. As a result the conglomerate has merged and broken out a few of its key units in preparation for Lee Kun-Hee’s son, J.Y. Lee, take over.

Last week Samsung ended talks of a potential a merger between two major units, Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung Engineering, because of the costs of buying back stock from shareholders against the deal.