Samsung heir now world’s top 200 richest with $7.2 billion after stock rise

December 23, 2014
Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, left, with Google co-founder Larry Page

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, left, with Google co-founder Larry Page (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of South Korean tech firm Samsung Electronics Co., made the list of the world’s top 200 richest people for the first time as Samsung Group’s heir apparent raked in big fortunes from successful initial public offerings of its two affiliates, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index showed Tuesday.

The 46-year-old Lee’s listed stock value was estimated at US$7.2 billion to rank 183rd worldwide in the latest Bloomberg index, making him the second-wealthiest person in South Korea after his father, Lee Kun-hee.

The senior Lee, who is recuperating from a heart attack he suffered in May, ranked No. 77, with his listed assets worth $13.1 billion as of early Tuesday, the index showed.

Formerly among the world’s 400 richest people in September, the junior Lee has made a big leap forward as the nation’s most powerful conglomerate listed two of its affiliates — Samsung SDS Co. and Cheil Industries Inc. — in just over a month, in a move seen as preparing for management succession.

The junior Lee holds an 11.25 percent stake in Samsung SDS, a key IT unit that went public on the main Seoul bourse in mid-November, and controls a 23.24 percent stake in Cheil Industries, a de facto holding company of Samsung Group that floated Thursday.

Cheil Industries raised 1.5 trillion won upon its market debut, the country’s largest IPO in four years, and Samsung SDS also drew in more than 1 trillion won via its offering.

Samsung SDS and Cheil stand as the nation’s 10th- and 13th-largest firms by market capitalization as of Tuesday.

The IPOs also helped the junior Lee’s two sisters — Boo-jin and Seo-hyun — to move up the stock-rich ladder, ranking as the country’s seventh- and eighth-richest people, respectively, according to Chaebul.com, which tracks the nation’s major conglomerates.

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