Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, transferred a one-third stake in a family trust from son Richard to elder brother Victor, moving to consolidate succession planning for an empire worth more than HK$850 billion ($110 billion).
Victor Li’s holdings in the trust, which controls Hong Kong-listed Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., will increase to about HK$290 billion, Winnie Cheong, a spokeswoman for Cheung Kong, Li Ka-shing’s flagship developer, said in a phone interview today.
The elder Li, 14th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $23.9 billion, has been nicknamed “Superman” by the local media after expanding Cheung Kong Group across industries including property, ports and energy in more than 50 countries. Victor Li will run Cheung Kong and Hutchison in the future, Li Ka-shing said in May, adding that he has no immediate plans to retire.
The 83-year-old billionaire also said in May he will offer financial support to allow Richard Li to build businesses outside of the family’s Cheung Kong Group of companies.
Richard Li is in talks with “several sizeable enterprises” for possible acquisitions, the elder Li said at the time, without identifying the targets. Li Ka-shing said he has set aside funding for Richard Li that is “multiple times” his son’s current assets.
Richard Li acquired a fund management firm from American International Group Inc. in 2010 and has pursued an independent business career since quitting as a director of Hutchison Whampoa in 2000.
Cheung Kong’s shares rose 1.5 percent to HK$101.80 at 1:18 p.m. in Hong Kong, the biggest gainer in the seven-member Hang Seng Property Index. Hutchison, Li’s biggest company with business ranging from telecommunication to retail, rose 0.7 percent to HK$71.40.