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Samsung chairman fends off family's lawsuit in $4 billion win

Lee Kun-hee's relatives had been seeking nearly $4 billion in assets he holds in Samsung Group.


Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee is breathing a sigh of relief today after a Korean court ruled that he won't need to hand over assets to family members.

Lee's siblings sued him over their contention that he hid from them billions of dollars in shareholdings he inherited from his father, Samsung's founder. However, Lee argues that the shares he was given are his and that he can do what he wants with them. The court agreed.

For Lee's family, it's a major loss. According to Reuters, which was first to report on the ruling, Lee's siblings were seeking nearly $4 billion in assets in Samsung Group. If they had won, Lee's ownership in Samsung, which currently stands at over 20 percent, would have been reduced.

Speaking to reporters, Lee's family's attorney Cha Dong-eon said that the ruling was "totally unexpected" and that his clients have yet to decide whether to appeal it.

Lee's victory paves the way for him to continue on his implementation of a succession plan. Last year, he appointed his 44-year-old son, Jay Y. Lee, as vice chairman and insinuated that he will eventually take over Samsung.