Li Ka-shing is planning to offer financial support to help his younger son Richard to build his own business empire, while eldest son Victor will take charge of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa when the 83-year-old billionaire decides to step down.
Speaking at a shareholders meeting on 25 May, Li confirmed that although he has no plans to retire, Victor will take the helm when he does.
“Victor will assume the stakes I hold in the listed firms, including the 40% stake in Cheung Kong and the 35% stake in Canada-listed Husky Energy," Reuters reported Li as saying. "He will be responsible for Cheung Kong's group business in the future."
Asia’s richest man, who has a hand in everything from supermarkets and property to electricity and ports across Hong Kong, China, Canada and the UK, also said he has set aside funding for Richard that is “several fold” his son’s current assets.
Richard, who currently does not have an executive role in either Cheung Kong or Hutchison, is already in talks with “several sizeable enterprises” for possible acquisitions, he added.
The move should help avoid a family feud - “there will be no conflict” among Victor’s and Richard’s businesses, said Li, who Forbes estimates is worth about $25.5 billion (€20.3 billion).
It comes as a number of other family businesses in Asia struggle to deal with succession, including at Kwok’s SHK Properties and Stanley Ho’s Macau gambling empire.