Samsung’s Lee visits Mexico to inspect factories, promote Busan’s expo bid
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong visited Mexico over the Chuseok holiday to inspect factories and promote Busan’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 as a presidential envoy in his first overseas trip since being pardoned.
Next on his itinerary is Panama, as confirmed by a spokesperson at Samsung Electronics, and possibly Britain — destinations that local media outlets predict will serve as major settings for discussion about a future merger or acquisition.
The Korean press was quick to suspect that the possible trip to Britain is intended to spearhead a deal on top of supporting Busan’s expo bid. Britain is home to chip design giant Arm, a potential takeover target.
Market analysts believe that Samsung may form a consortium with other chipmakers to acquire Arm since it would be extremely difficult for any single company to pass the antitrust regulatory hurdles due to the outsized influence of Arm.
Apparently aware of the concern, chipmakers like Intel, SK hynix and Qualcomm have said that they could form or join a consortium to acquire Arm. Samsung Electronics has not yet made such a statement.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee told reporters earlier this month that the company has made “significant progress” toward clinching a large-scale buyout, though he remained tight-lipped about the target.
Vice Chairman Lee met with the President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico on Sept. 8 to ask for the country’s support in Korea’s bid to host the international event. Lee Jae-yong is a special presidential envoy for Busan’s bid.
Lee also presented plans on how Samsung Electronics will cooperate with Mexico’s local suppliers in the future.
He then moved to a factory run by Harman, an automotive audio and component manufacturer owned by Samsung Electronics.
Lee toured the production lines of washers and refrigerators in Queretaro on Sept. 9 and the next day visited a site for a refinery project that Samsung Engineering won an order to build in 2019.
Dubbed Dos Bocas refinery, the facility will be the largest oil refinery in Mexico, once completed.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]