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Family Of Former Samsung Vice-Chairman Sell Shares To Pay Inheritance Tax

Following the passing of Former Chairman of Samsung Lee Kun-hee, his wife and daughters have had to sell their shares in the Korean tech giant in an effort to pay their inheritance taxes.

The total 12 trillion won (13.1 billion AUD) in taxes has been split up between the family, with only son and Vice-Chairman of Samsung Lee Jae-yong owing 2.9 trillion won, wife Hong Ra-hee owing 3.1 trillon, 2.6 trillion for eldest daughter Lee Boo-Jin and 2.4 billion owed by Lee Seo-hyun. The family have agreed to pay this sum over a five-year period that started in 2020 when the Samsung Chairman passed.

Hong Ra-hee has reportedly sold her 0.33 percent stake in Samsung through KB Bank in September 2021 for 1.3 trillion won (roughly $1.42 billion AUD). The shares were sold at an agreed rate yesterday at 68,800 won each, 2.4% less than the closing price of 75,000 won.

Credit: AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

Similarly, two days earlier, her and Lee Kun-Hee’s daughters – Lee Boo-jin (president of Hotel SHilla) and Lee Seo-hyun (Samsung Welfare Foundation director) sold their combined stake in Samsung SDS for 400 billion won.

As the stakes the family owns are in key affiliates, these sales have been closely monitored. Samsung is South Korea’s largest conglomerate, and the sale of these shares directly affects the family’s control over it.

Choi Kwan-soon, an analyst at SK Securities states “Given more than 50 percent favorable shares owned by Samsung affiliates and the owner family, the impact seems limited in their governance structure.”

Furthermore, commenting on the way in which the family may struggle to pay the taxes off, one industry source for The Korea Herald stated that “Because they cannot pay the taxes with dividends only, they are likely to seek to raise additional funds by selling shares or properties.” The source wished to remain anonymous.


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