Tongue-not-in-cheek-wise, Samsung has confirmed the deal. The Korean giant -- the largest mobile device maker in South Korea, by far, paid $48 million for that minority stake in Pantech, which is the country's third-largest mobile device manufacturer. LG is the second largest.
Samsung Electronics has agreed to acquire a 10-percent stake in Pantech, valued at approximately KRW 53 billion (approx. $48.5 million). 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.It's true that Pantech -- like Apple -- spends a lot on Samsung components. In 2012, Pantech reportedly spent about $211 million to purchase Samsung components that it used in its own devices.
With the deal, Samsung is now Pantech’s third-largest stakeholder. It trails only chip-maker Qualcomm -- which makes the processor in Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4 -- which owns 11.96 percent of Pantech, and the Korea Development Bank, which owns 11.81 percent.
In March, Samsung made another major investment. It agreed to spend about $112 million for a 3.08 percent share of Sharp. While that was a rather minor investment, it reportedly raised red flags in Cupertino, Calif., as Apple is believed to buy about a third of its LCD panels from Sharp.