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Samsung chairman keeps fortune in inheritance case

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2013 at 2:59 am •  Published: February 1, 2013

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The chairman of Samsung Electronics has kept his fortune and control of the Samsung conglomerate after a South Korean court Friday ruled against his older brother in an inheritance battle.

The case was watched because a ruling against Samsung's chairman Lee Kun-hee could have resulted in the unraveling of a cross-shareholding structure that allows Lee to control the conglomerate as a minority shareholder. He is South Korea's richest person with wealth of $8 billion, according to Forbes.

The high-stakes fight also highlighted deep discord between sons of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull, who denounced each other in public as the battle unfolded last year.

Lee Kun-hee's brother, Meng-hee, wanted a bigger share of the Samsung cake but the court ruled that a 10-year period for inheritance claims had expired.

It also said there was not enough evidence to prove that dividends and proceeds from Samsung companies were intended as part of the inheritance from Byung-chull.

On the same grounds, Seoul Central District Court denied inheritance claims from four other family members including Lee Kun-hee's elder sister.

They sought a combined 4.1 trillion won ($3.7 billion) of stocks and cash from Lee and Samsung Everland Inc., a de facto holding company of the Samsung empire.

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