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William Pesek

Samsung Has Korean Investors in Its Pocket

Too big to oppose.

Too big to oppose.

Photographer: Lisa Werner via Getty Images

Samsung is giving South Korea’s National Pension Service an offer it can't refuse: Support the nation's biggest conglomerate in its fight against a foreign hedge fund, or else.

The Lee family that rules Samsung wants affiliate Cheil Industries to take over Samsung C&T at a price far lower than investors like New York-based Elliott Associates say it's worth. Elliott is rallying support to block a deal it alleges is less about good business than the children of hospitalized CEO Lee Kun Hee wanting to solidify their claims to the company's throne. As the biggest shareholder in Samsung C&T, with 10.15 percent of common shares, the state-run NPS arguably has the final say.