NEW YORK (The Deal) -- South Korean construction company Samsung C&T (SSGFF) on Friday narrowly secured shareholder approval for its $8.5 billion takeover by sister company Cheil Industries as Elliott Management, an opponent of the deal, indicated it may fight on.
Investors cast just over 69.5% of votes in favor of the transaction at a meeting, with leading shareholder National Pension Service reportedly backing the takeover. It required support from two-thirds of the votes cast to proceed.
Elliott, which earlier this month twice took to a Seoul court to try to block the deal, decried the outcome.
"Elliott is disappointed that the takeover appears to have been approved against the wishes of so many independent shareholders and reserves all options at its disposal," a spokesman said.
Samsung C&T shares plunged following the vote and were down 9.7% at W62,600 in Seoul toward the end of the business day as the prospect of a sweetener evaporated. Cheil shares were down 8.3% at W178,000.
Elliott, a 7.1% Samsung C&T shareholder, argues that the takeover is unlawful, makes little strategic sense and will cost Samsung C&T shareholders W7.8 trillion ($6.8 billion) in lost book value. Based on Cheil's share price late Friday, the deal values Samsung C&T at W62,300 per share, or W9.7 trillion in total.
Proxy-advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Co. this month came down on the side of Elliott, though the Seoul Central District Court declined to grant two injunctions the activist had sought to block the deal.
The takeover entails Samsung Group conglomerate Cheil Industries offering 0.35 of a share for each share in Samsung C&T. The transaction was widely interpreted when it was announced on May 26 as intra-Samsung Group maneuvering to secure the Lee family's control of the industrial group, or chaebol, which has about 70 affiliates.
Elliott's statement suggests its legal battle against the fusion may continue.
Reuters, citing a source, reported that 11.2% shareholder National Pension Service voted in favor of the transaction.
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