Business, Finance & Economics

Samsung boss sued by brother over inheritance

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Lee Kun-Hee (C), 70, is being sued by his brother for the return of shares worth $623 million inherited from their late father,

Credit:

JUNG YEON-JE

The chairman of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is being sued by his elder brother over a multi-million dollar inheritance of company shares.

Lee Kun-Hee, 70, is being sued by Lee Maeng-Hee, 80, for the return of shares worth $623 million inherited from their late father, the Agence France Presse reported Tuesday.

Lee Kun-Hee is accused of keeping 8 million shares in Samsung Life Insurance and 20 shares in Samsung Electronics for himself. According to court documents filed by Lee Maeng-Hee, “the stocks… were assets put in a trust in the name of non-heirs, and they should have been apportioned to the heirs according to law.”

The brothers’ father, Lee Byung-chull, who died in 1987, founded Samsung in 1938. The Samsung group includes electronics, telecoms, construction and shipbuilding among its companies, and had a turnover of $220 billion in 2010, according to the BBC.

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Samsung Life Insurance has around 200 million outstanding shares, and Lee Kun-Hee is the single biggest shareholder with around 41.5 million shares or 20.7 percent of the total, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Lee Kun-Hee is the richest man in South Korea, according to the 2010 Forbes Rich List, with a personal fortune of $7.9 billion.