Samsung confirmed today that it is investing $47.6 million in Pantech to acquire a 10 percent ownership stake in the company. Pantech, like Samsung, is a South Korean company, and the third-largest mobile device manufacturer in the country.
Through a statement released via Yonhap News Agency, Samsung said the move is intended to help “further solidify bilateral cooperation” between the two companies in their joint operations in smartphone and other technologies. Pantech is a big player in the Korean smartphone space, ranking third behind Samsung and LG, but hasn't had great success globally.
As Samsung and Pantech compete in the smartphone and tablet marketplaces, it is a unique arrangement to see between companies with similar offerings. They also work closely together in the semiconductor and display arena, and last year Pantech purchased $211 million in electronic parts from Samsung and its affiliates.
Some concern over anti-competitive repercussions between the intertwined companies has already reached Samsung, and in a statement to The Next Web, Samsung clarified the nature of the deal. “The investment is aimed at solidifying our relationship with Pantech, a key component customer of Samsung. Samsung will have no involvement in Pantech’s business management in any way or form,” said a spokesperson.
The investment makes Samsung the third-largest shareholder in Pantech, behind chip-maker Qualcomm and the Korea Development Bank, which own 11.96 and 11.81 percent respectively.
In March, Samsung confirmed that it was also investing $112 million in the Japanese electronics firm Sharp, for a 3 percent stake in the company.