SEOUL, March 10 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo has been sued by his family over inheritance he received more than four years ago, in a dispute that is feared to shake management of the country’s fourth-largest chaebol.
Koo’s stepmother and two stepsisters filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Western District Court on Feb. 28 to request the cancellation of inheritance that took place following the death of Koo Bon-moo, the late LG Group chairman, in May 2018.
Koo Kwang-mo is the nephew of the late chairman, who adopted him in 2004 after his only son died in a car accident, and became LG chairman in June 2018.
LG Group carries the long-held tradition of the eldest son taking control of the family business.
The plaintiffs demand the inheritance be divided again, according to the relevant law where the spouse and child inherit 60 percent and 40 percent each.
The late chairman owned 11.28 percent of LG Group shares. Koo Kwang-mo inherited 8.76 percent of them, making him the largest shareholder of the giant conglomerate with subsidiaries including LG Electronics, LG Display and LG Chem.
The former chairman’s eldest daughter inherited 2.01 percent and the second daughter got 0.51 percent at that time, while the wife, Kim Young-sik, inherited none.
LG Group said the division of the inherited property was “lawful” and that it was made after “numerous consultations” between the family members over the span of five months after Koo Bon-moo’s death.
“It is hard to understand why they raised the issue now, four years after the inheritance was completed,” LG said in a statement, adding, “Any attempt to shake LG’s tradition and management rights cannot be tolerated.”
The current chairman has been paying his inheritance tax, worth 720 billion won (US$543 million), in six installments over the course of five years, and he is set to make his last payment by the end of the year, LG said.