Samsung family battles

The chairman of Samsung is being sued by his brother over a multi-million dollar inheritance of company shares. Lee Kun-Hee, 70, is being sued by Lee Maeng-Hee, 80, for 700 billion Korean won ($623m).

The dispute centres on eight million shares in Samsung Life Insurance, and 20 shares in Samsung Electronics inherited from their father. The brothers’ father Lee Byung-chull, who died in 1987, founded Samsung selling dried fish in South Korea in 1938.

In a statement, Samsung said: “This is a civil suit and therefore the company has no official comment.”

The Samsung Group, which includes shipbuilding, telecoms, electronics and construction, had a turnover of $220 billion in 2010.

Lee Kun-Hee took over the chairmanship of Samsung in 1987. However, in April 2008, he resigned in disgrace after being charged with tax evasion and breach of trust.  He was convicted on the tax charges, but was given a presidential pardon in 2009 and returned to lead Samsung in 2010. According to the 2010 Forbes Rich List, Lee Kun-Hee was the richest man in South Korea with a personal fortune of $7.9 billion.

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