Korean Economy News
LG Group heir becomes holding firm’s largest shareholder

Lee Sang-duk and Cho Jeehyun

LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo has become the largest shareholder of LG Corp., the holding entity of South Korea’s fourth largest family-controlled conglomerate with shares inherited from his late father, the company said Friday.

Koo inherited an 8.8 percent stake in the holding company from his father and late chairman Koo Bon-moo who held an 11.3 percent stake. With the inheritance, the new chairman now holds a 15 percent stake in the company, up from previous 6.2 percent. His step-sisters Koo Yeon-kyung and Koo Yeon-soo have inherited 2.0 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

The three children of the late tycoon will pay inheritance tax estimated at 918 billion won ($821.0 million), the country’s highest-ever inheritance tax, over the next five years. The first payment is due late November.

Elder Koo passed away in May due to illness and the throne was passed to younger Koo, who had been groomed as the successor of the conglomerate. Koo Kwang-mo was born the son of the late Koo’s younger brother Koo Bon-neung but he was adopted by the late Koo in 2004 after he lost his only son in an accident. LG Group has a strong family tradition of passing down power to the chairman’s eldest son.

Market watchers predict the conglomerate to undergo major business reshuffle under the new leader. Koo Bon-joon, vice chairman and second-largest shareholder of the holding company announced in June that he would step down from the management late this year to pave the way for the new chairman, his nephew.

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