Samsung Elec chief wins $4-bn legal battle against kin
Lee, 71, and Samsung Everland, a de facto holding company for the country’s largest conglomerate, were defending against three lawsuits by Lee's relatives seeking nearly $4 billion in assets in Samsung Life Insurance, which sits at the heart of the web of Samsung group shareholdings, and Samsung Electronics, the group's crown jewel.
The lawsuit was unlikely to have deprived Lee of his control over Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest maker of smartphones, TVs and memory chips. But a ruling against him would have diluted his holdings and could have forced a reshuffling of the intricate shareholdings across the Samsung group if he were to retain his grip.
It also came at a key juncture for the electronics giant's successions plans, just months after Lee's son Jay Y. Lee, 44, was promoted to vice-chairman.
Samsung has come to symbolise the success of South Korea's “chaebol” conglomerates on the global stage, where it is battling Apple Inc and its Galaxy smartphone is outselling the iPhone. A judge at the Seoul Central District Court ruled that Lee could retain more than $1 billion in Samsung Electronics shares and another $1 billion in shares of Samsung Life.
Samsung Everland, a small zoo operator, was also allowed to keep its $1 billion stake in Samsung Life.
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