Most pharmaceutical companies in Korea are run by owners’ families with their management control changing hands from parents to children. And many young family members have shares of these enterprises even though they are not participating in management. Korea’s 10 largest drugmakers in sales are no exceptions.
Among such young children, Lee Ki-hwan, 20, son of JW PharmaceuticalJW중외제약 Chairman Lee Kyung-ha이경하, holds the biggest equity stake, according to this paper’s analysis of shareholding by owners’ family members, based on public notices the companies posted on the stock market.
As of last year, the junior Lee had 2.5 percent equity of JW HoldingsJW홀딩스, worth 12.6 billion won ($11 million), the largest among owners’ children who were not taking part in management among the top 10 pharmaceuticals.
Lee Ki-hwan was given about 1.53 million shares of JW Holdings, plus 2,570 shares of JW Pharmaceutical, 0.01 percent of the total. Chairman Lee Kyung-ha’s twin daughters, Min-kyung and Sung-eun, both 22, also had 92,000 shares (0.15 percent) of JW Holdings, and 1,499 shares (0.01 percent) of JW Pharmaceutical, respectively.
The youngest shareholder was Lim Yoon-dan, Hanmi Pharm한미약품 Chairman Lim Sung-ki임성기’s granddaughter born in 2013. The four-year-old had 1,740 shares of Hanmi Science, worth about 120 million won.
Chairman Lim’s grandson, Seong-yeon, 14, had 670,000 shares (478.5 million won), the richest adolescent among the offspring of pharmaceutical owners.
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