April 26, 2012 - 17:17 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-Hee, currently embroiled in an inheritance dispute with his siblings, remains South Korea's richest man, according to a Forbes magazine ranking, AFP reported.
The 70-year-old, who transformed the company into the world's top chipmaker and second-largest mobile phone maker, has an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion, up $1.5 billion from 2011, said the U.S. publication, on Thursday, April 26.
Lee is engaged in a bitter legal dispute with his elder brother and sister over the vast family inheritance left by their father who founded the group.
Lee Maeng-Hee, 80, accuses the Samsung boss of taking over some shares in Samsung group subsidiaries which their father and group founder Lee Byung-Chull had held under the names of other people.
He demanded his brother return some shares in Samsung units along with cash, worth 710 billion won ($623 million) in total. Their sister Lee Sook-Hee followed with a separate suit.
Chung Mong-Koo, chairman of the country's largest automaker Hyundai Motor, was ranked second in the Forbes list with a net worth of $6.6 billion, followed by Kim Jung-Joo, a 44-year-old founder of online game company Nexon.
Kim's net worth was $4.3 billion, Forbes said, calling his success as a self-made entrepreneur with no family-related business connections "remarkable."
Jay Y. Lee, Samsung Electronics' chief operating officer and the chairman's first son, was ranked fourth with a net worth of $3.8 billion.
Lee Myung-Hee, Kun-Hee's younger sister and the chief of major retailer the Shinsegae Group, was 11th with an estimated net worth of $1.68 billion. This made her the country's wealthiest woman.