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Arrested Development: Samsung chairman relatives fail in a $4 billion lawsuit against him

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Arrested Development: Samsung chairman relatives fail in a $4 billion lawsuit against him
Samsung's esteemed chairman Lee-kun Hee is overseeing a multibillion empire, which he's been creating for decades now, but when it comes to relatives getting in the way, all bets are off, even in a family-run chaebol like Samsung.

Lee Kun-hee's siblings filed a lawsuit demanding more shares in the company, as heirs of Samsung's founder in their turn, while Lee's lawyers argued that his father named him a successor, and he was the one who turned the relatively small company to the world-class conglomerate it is now.

The plaintiffs were seeking about $4 billion in shares from the various company holdings, but the South Korean court just ruled today in Lee Kun-hee favor, avoiding a wave of disturbance and reshuffling going through the intricate network of shareholder layers around the group's numerous businesses.

Arrested Development: Samsung chairman relatives fail in a $4 billion lawsuit against him
It all ends up at Samsung Life insurance and Samsung Everland, which is on paper a zoo and amusement park operator, but in fact owns a large chunk of shares in Samsung Group, while Lee Kun-hee controls both companies with the family stake in them. His personal fortune is estimated at more than $8 billion, so giving away half of that to the relatives would have been a bitter pill to swallow.

"Regardless of the truth of what happened or the final outcome of this case, I think it may also have been one of the late founder's wishes that both parties have a happy life together with no quarrels," said the judge before the verdict.

The ruling comes at a time when South Korea is a bit fed up with family-run chaebols that rule the country, and is ultimately deemed positive for Samsung, as its shares shot up 3% on the news. Check out how Samsung rose to a chaebol prominence for more info on the company culture.

source: Reuters

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