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Samsung heir Lee inherits key portion of patriarch's stake

By Reuters

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) -Stakes held by the late Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee in the tech giant and other key affiliates were divided among his son Jay Y. Lee, his two daughters and his wife, the companies said in regulatory filings on Friday.

This is the first time the information has been publicly disclosed since Lee, credited with turning Samsung into the world’s largest smartphone and memory chip maker, died last October.

The inheritance appears to have been carried out in a way to further cement Lee’s son and Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee’s control over the conglomerate.

With the inheritance, Jay Y. Lee saw his stake in Samsung Life Insurance increase from 0.06% to 10.44%.

Samsung Life Insurance plays a key role in controlling Samsung Electronics, as its largest shareholder with an 8.51% stake.

The late Lee’s stakes in Samsung C&T and Samsung Electronics were inherited according to South Korean law’s inheritance ratio, with Jay Y. Lee and the two daughters receiving about 22% each of the late Lee’s stakes, and wife Hong Ra-hee receiving about 33%.

In contrast, the biggest portion of Lee Kun-hee’s Samsung Life Insurance shares – about 10.4% – is being inherited by Jay Y. Lee.

Daughters Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun inherit 6.92% and 3.46% stakes in Samsung Life respectively, while Hong inherits none, according to the filing.

Lee Kun-hee’s shareholdings included a 4.18% stake in Samsung Electronics, 20.76% of Samsung Life Insurance and 2.88% of Samsung C&T, which according to South Korean tax code valuation were worth about 18.96 trillion won ($17 billion).

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edmund Blair, Jane Merriman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)