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February 4, 2013

Samsung chairman wins inheritance lawsuit against siblings

The Seoul Central District Court allowed Lee Kun-Hee to keep his holdings in two firms

By CBR Staff Writer

Samsung Electronics’ chairman Lee Kun-Hee has won an inheritance lawsuit against his siblings who demanded bigger stakes in the Samsung Group of companies.

The main claimants in the lawsuit were Lee’s brother, Lee Maeng-Hee, his sister Lee Suk-Hee and the children of another brother.

Lee Kun-Hee’s siblings demanded stakes worth around $4bn in Samsung Group units and accused him of deliberately hiding assets from them. The court ruled that since the inheritance was received 25 years ago, the claim has come too late to meet a 10-year deadline for inheritance disputes.

The Seoul Central District Court allowed Lee to keep his holdings in the firms which include Samsung Life Insurance Co. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Samsung was founded by Lee Kun-Hee’s father Lee Byung-Chull and Lee Kun-Hee took over the chairmanship of the company in 1987 after his father’s death.

Last month, Samsung reported revenues of KRW56.06 trillion ($52.4bn) for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to KRW47.30 trillion ($44.2bn) it reported during the corresponding quarter in 2011.

The company’s net profit increased to KRW7.04 trillion ($6.6bn) for the quarter, compared to KRW4.01 trillion ($3.7bn) for the same period last year.

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In December 2012, Samsung promoted Jay Lee, the son and heir of Lee Kun-hee to vice-chairman, as part of an annual reshuffle, moving the chief operating officer and president closer to the top job.

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