SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Samsung Electronics, which faces worries of poor sales in its smartphone business unit, has executed a total of 10 mergers and acquisitions since last year. The moves hint that Samsung is changing its management strategies after vice-chairperson Lee Jae-yong, the son of the ailing chairman Lee Kun-hee, came to the frontline of the corporate management.
On August 19, Samsung Electronics announced that it acquired U.S. air-conditioner distributor Quietside. It declined to elaborate on the price tag but it is estimated to be US$24 million. Quietside, which has around 500 stores in the U.S. and Canada, sells air-conditioners for homes and offices.
Four days before it acquired Quietside, Samsung had entered into an agreement to acquire SmartThings, creator of the leading open platform for the smart home and the consumer Internet of Things. It is estimated that Samsung paid $200 million for the acquisition.
According to the industry, since 2007, Samsung has executed 21 cases of M&A in and outside Korea. Among them, ten, almost half of the cases, were done after 2013.
In January last year, Samsung took over the 100-percent share of NeuroLogica, a U.S. computed tomography (CT) company and acquired a 5 percent share of Wacom, a touch pen solution provider. In March in the same year, Samsung bought a 3 percent of new stocks of Sharp of Japan and reinforced the LCD supply channel and diversified its customers. In April, Samsung bought MOVL, a U.S. multiscreen platform provider in the form of asset acquisition and technical cooperation.
Samsung’s acquisition streak is related to the downturn of the smartphone business, largest cash cow of the electronics giant. Besides, its move can be interpreted as a countermeasure against Chinese companies rising as global new powerhouses through the aggressive M&As with abundant cash.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)