On Wednesday, The family of late Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee said they will pay more than $10.8 billion in inheritance taxes for his estate and donate his vast private art collection to state curators.
Lee, who is credited with transforming Samsung into the world’s largest smartphone and memory chip maker, died on October 25 with an estate valued at around 26 trillion won.
The Lee family’s handling of the hefty inheritance tax bill – one of the largest-ever in Korea and globally – has been closely watched as it could have resulted in the dilution of the family’s controlling stake in Samsung.
There was also significant public interest amid calls for Lee’s $1.76 billion art collection to stay in South Korea and reports the family planned to make a large donation to make reparations for Lee’s conviction on tax evasion and embezzlement charges over a decade ago.
The family said they planned to pay the tax bill over a period of five years in six installments, starting this month.
“It is our civic duty and responsibility to pay all taxes,” it said in a statement released by Samsung.