Samsung Electronics seeks stake in China automaker BYD, electric car chips boost

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/Files

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday it was in talks to acquire a stake in Chinese automaker BYD, a move it said would help the South Korean electronics giant boost its chip business for electric cars.

Samsung said it has not finalised how much it would spend to buy the stake, nor how big a holding it would take in BYD, which specialises in electric vehicles and is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

BYD officials in China weren’t immediately available for comment.

Global automakers and technology companies have formed a series of partnerships in recent years as the race to develop electric, self-driving, internet-connected vehicles has created demand for more electronics components and software.

Samsung has created a team to develop automotive-related businesses, seeking a new sector to drive earnings amid signs that the global smartphone industry – its profit mainstay – is slowing.

The Korea Economic Daily reported earlier on Friday that Samsung agreed to buy new shares worth $449 million (3 billion yuan) in BYD, which would give Samsung a 4 per cent stake in the automaker. Samsung declined to comment on the reported terms of the deal.

“We plan to discuss cooperation in various businesses going forward,” Samsung said in a statement announcing the investment.

Shares in the electronics firm’s affiliate Samsung SDI jumped more than 8 per cent in early trading in Seoul on hopes that it might be in line to supply electric vehicle batteries to BYD.

But Samsung denied that battery supply was part of the BYD tie-up. Samsung SDI shares trimmed gains and were trading up 2.3 per cent as of 03:10 GMT.

Meanwhile Samsung Electronics shares firmed 1.2 per cent, versus the broader market’s 0.6 per cent rise, hitting their highest levels in more than three years and extending gains posted since it said last week it expected a 18 per cent rise in quarterly profit.

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Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.