Samsung Life to buy Samsung Electronics stake in Samsung Card for $1.3 billion

Two men walk out of the headquarters of Samsung Life Insurance in Seoul May 12, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s Samsung Life Insurance Co Ltd said on Thursday it will buy Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s 37.5 percent stake in sister firm Samsung Card Co Ltd for 1.54 trillion won ($1.3 billion).

Samsung Life, an insurance arm of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest conglomerate, already owns 34.4 percent of the credit card business.

Analysts and investors had long speculated that Samsung Group would eventually consolidate control of its financial arms under the life insurer. The move is seen as part of an ongoing streamlining of the smartphones-to-construction business empire’s ownership structure, cementing the founding family’s control.

Reporting by Se Young Lee and Joyce Lee; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell