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American Billionaire Takes on Samsung

Founder of Elliott Management, Paul Elliott Singer. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Founder of Elliott Management, Paul Elliott Singer. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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Paul Elliott Singer could not have picked a bigger fight in South Korea. The American hedge-fund manager said he would oppose a proposed merger within Samsung Group, thereby laying down a challenge to the country’s most powerful company and its richest family.

Predictably, all hell has broken loose. The local press has attacked Singer as a meddling pariah, casting doubt on his motives and advocating more protection for domestic companies. The Korea Economic Daily went as far as calling on regulators to investigate Singer for insider trading or other illegal activities, despite the absence of any evidence.