Samsung family in public spat over inheritance

Apr 24, 2012 By YOUKYUNG LEE , AP Technology Writer
In this July 6, 2011 file photo, Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, right, greets people from the South Korean delegation in Durban, South Africa, for the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) session that will decide the host city for the 2018 Olympics Winter Games. A feud over the riches of South Korea's Samsung business empire has erupted in public as family members prepare to take an inheritance battle to court. Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., which is the flagship company of the Samsung conglomerate, is facing off against his older brother, a sister and a nephew's wife who all want a bigger piece of the Samsung cake. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)

(AP) -- A feud over the riches of South Korea's Samsung business empire has erupted in public as family members prepare to take an inheritance battle to court.

Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Co., which is the flagship company of the Samsung , is facing off against his older brother, a sister and a nephew's wife who all want a bigger piece of the Samsung cake.

The court battle might upset a dynastic succession in Samsung's leadership as it could result in the unraveling of a cross-shareholding structure that allows Lee Kun-hee to control the group as a minority shareholder.

Lee, who is South Korea's wealthiest individual, on Tuesday took the rare step of publicly attacking his brother, Lee Meng-hee, declaring on YTN television that the 81-year-old "has been already kicked out from our home." Lee Meng-hee had earlier called his brother "greedy" and "childlike."

Battles for control of Chaebol, South Korea's family-controlled industrial groups that wield immense power over the economy, are not uncommon but it is unusual for the internal wrangling to become public.

Lee Meng-hee filed a lawsuit in February, demanding more than 700 billion won ($613 million) of shares in Samsung Life Insurance Co. and other companies. Similar claims followed by Lee's older sister and the wife of a dead nephew.

Lee Kun-hee, the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull, was tapped in 1979 by his father to lead what would become South Korea's most valuable company. The decision apparently disappointed Lee Meng-hee who later wrote in his autobiography that he had thought his father would turn over the throne to him.

The 70-year-old Samsung chairman has refused to settle the dispute out of court. A date for the first hearing in the case will be announced after the court reviews responses from Samsung, said lawyer Jeong Jin-su of Yoon & Yang LLC, which represents the three plaintiffs.

The family members have taken to public denunciations that are being lappped up by local media.

"I'm trying to retrieve my property that Lee Kun-hee has been hiding for 25 years," his sister Lee Suk-hee said in a statement released by the law firm.

Explore further: Brazil's Coelho offers $100,000 for N. Korea parody film

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Samsung chairman says son to be promoted

Nov 17, 2010

(AP) -- The chairman of Samsung Electronics said Wednesday his son will be promoted to a more powerful executive position, preparing the global technology giant for an eventual change in leadership.

Samsung appeals against illicit gain

Oct 11, 2005

Samsung appealed Tuesday a ruling that its chairman was involved in a deal to transfer control of the company from father to son.

Samsung to create new office for group affairs

Nov 19, 2010

(AP) -- Samsung will create a new organization to coordinate the group's sprawling businesses after a previous one was closed in 2008 amid a corruption scandal that rocked the massive conglomerate.

Samsung promotes chairman's son to president

Dec 03, 2010

(AP) -- A scion of the family that founded the sprawling Samsung conglomerate has been promoted to president at the flagship electronics business, sending its shares to a record high.

Samsung heir to attend Steve Jobs memorial service

Oct 16, 2011

The heir apparent of South Korea's Samsung Group will attend a memorial service for late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs despite an ongoing legal battle with the US technology giant, a source said on Sunday.

Recommended for you

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

8 hours ago

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

Clooney slams skittish Hollywood after Sony hack

15 hours ago

Film star George Clooney slammed the Hollywood movie industry for failing to stand up against the cyber threats that prompted Sony Pictures to cancel release of the movie "The Interview."

Atos shares soar after Xerox acquisition

17 hours ago

Shares in French tech firm Atos soared nearly five percent on Friday as traders cheered the news it had bought the IT wing of Xerox for more than $1 billion.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

videomaven
not rated yet Apr 25, 2012
they should just go and buy a country

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.