Samsung Chairman’s Brother Dies of Cancer in China, Yonhap Says

Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun Hee’s brother, who sued his younger billionaire sibling in one of South Korea’s biggest family feuds, has died from cancer in China at 84, Yonhap News reported.

Lee Maeng Hee, who is also the father of CJ Corp. chairman Lee Jae Hyun, had been fighting cancer and died in a Beijing hospital on Friday, Yonhap said, citing an unidentified CJ official.

Calls to CJ officials went unanswered on a public holiday.

Lee Maeng Hee and other family members sued Samsung’s chairman in 2012, claiming a 4.1 trillion-won ($3.5 billion) stake in Samsung Electronics and Samsung Life Insurance Co.

The elder Lee lost twice and eventually decided not to seek a Supreme Court ruling.

Lee Kun Hee, 73, is South Korea’s richest man with an estimated net worth of $10.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He remains hospitalized after a heart attack last year.

Their father Lee Byung Chull, who founded what is today South Korea’s largest business group, died in 1987 without a will. Under Lee Kun Hee’s leadership, Samsung transformed itself from a dried-fish exporter in 1938 into a group whose interests include the world’s biggest maker of televisions, mobile phones and memory chips.

His son, Lee Jae Yong, has since taken on a greater role leading the Samsung Group since Lee Kun Hee was hospitalized.

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