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Samsung C&T ends share buyback, clears key hurdle for $8B merger

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The $8 billion merger of two Samsung affiliates cleared another major hurdle, with requests for buybacks from shareholders opposed to the deal falling well short of the amount that could have scuppered it.

Construction firm Samsung C&T said on Friday it had received 670 billion won worth of stock buyback requests from shareholders who opposed the all-stock takeover offer from sister firm Cheil.

That amount was well short of 1.5 trillion won ($1.29 billion), which both firms had set in May as the level at which they would scrap the deal.

Analysts say the merger now appears to be on track to be finalized in September, on schedule.

The deal is seen as a key step in a leadership transfer at Samsung, the country's top family-run conglomerate. It consolidates stakes in key affiliates including Samsung Electronics under the control of the founding Lee family's heirs.

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Samsung C&T did not disclose details on the shares it bought back, but U.S. hedge fund Elliott - one of the most vocal opponents of the merger - said on Wednesday it had sold back some of its 7.12 percent stake.

A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Elliott sold a 4.95 percent stake to C&T, the entire share it could sell back. The fund, however, has said it would continue to do all it could to protect its interests.