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Samsung's holding company plan a step toward better governance

Investors hope changes at electronics unit help untangle groupwide ties

Lee Jae-yong, heir apparent to the Samsung group.

TOKYO -- Samsung Electronics' potential split into holding and operating units would be a strong first step in streamlining complex and opaque in-group capital ties as shareholders push harder for change amid recent scandals.

Enhancing value for shareholders is the South Korean electronics maker's top priority, Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun said in a conference call Tuesday on the day of the announcement that Samsung Electronics is considering switching to a holding company structure. Kwon is the highest-ranking executive there from outside the group's founding family.

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