Samsung owns largest No. of Israeli subsidiaries among S. Korean conglomerates: report

Leading South Korean conglomerates with affiliates in Israel, including Samsung Electronics, are keeping a close watch on the heightened conflict in the Middle East, a report by corporate tracker Korea CXO Institute showed Thursday.

Among the nation’s 82 companies with more than 5 trillion won ($3.7 billion) in assets, four conglomerates, including Samsung, SK, LG and OCI, operate subsidiaries in Israel, owning at least a 50 percent stake in the affiliates.

Samsung has the largest number of five subsidiaries in Israel among Korean firms while the other three -- SK, LG, and OCI -- each have one local branch in the country.

The nation’s No.1 conglomerate runs Samsung Electronics Israel, a Samsung Semiconductor Israel, a research and development center and mobile camera firm Corephotonics via Samsung Electronics Benelux, which is wholly owned by the company.

The software solution provider Red Bend is also operated by Samsung Electronics through its subsidiary Harman Becker Automotive Systems. Samsung Bioepis, the biopharmaceutical unit of the company, runs a subsidy in Israel, too.

South Korean chipmaker SK hynix operates the Israeli sales branch of its NAND product solutions arm in the US.

Besides its sales branch in Tel Aviv, LG Electronics also operates the Israeli automotive cybersecurity firm Cybellum Technologies since 2021.

Bukwang Pharmaceutical, the affiliate of OCI, recently took over the drug development company ProteKt Therapeutics, which is based in Israel.

Though the firms have not reported specific losses from the rising tension in the Middle East, Korean conglomerates are keeping a close eye on the situation, monitoring the safety of their workers, the report said.

“If the war is dragged out for a long time or even expands to the nearby countries, there might be extensive damage to Korean companies,” said Oh Il-sun, head of Korea CXO Institute, in the report.

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