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    Samsung chairman’s wife may play key role in heir’s succession

    Business
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    Last updated: March 21st, 2017 at 12:03 UTC+01:00

    Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee has been out of the picture since 2014. He suffered a heart attack three years ago and has been bedridden since then. Samsung has gradually put a succession plan in motion which will see his son, Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, assume control of the largest conglomerate in South Korea.

    Samsung chairman’s wife Hong Ra-hee and the mother of Lee Jae-yong is expected to play a key role in the ongoing succession scenario. She currently holds 0.77 percent of Samsung Electronics' shares and civil law also entitles her to her spouse's assets. The chairman holds a 3.54 percent stake in Samsung Electronics and a 20 percent stake in Samsung Insurance. This holding is 50 percent more than Ra-hee's three children.

    Since the law offers a greater share of the inheritance to spouses than the children, Ra-hee would become the largest individual shareholder over Samsung affiliates. After inheritance, her stake in Samsung Electronics would be worth 4 trillion won or $3.57 billion. Analysts expect that her increased holding in the conglomerate's crown jewel may be utilized to further Lee Jae-yong's push to expand the Lee family's control over the Samsung Group.

    However, the plan has been hit by a setback due to Lee Jae-yong's arrest in connection with South Korea's influence-peddling scandal. He is being tried on charges of bribery, embezzlement and concealment of assets abroad and until the outcome, he remains behind bars. The trial is expected to be wrapped up in three months.

    Via Business Lee Jae-yongSamsung Electronics
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