21 August 2019
Cecil Chao said daughter Gigi and grandson Ian will take over the family business. Photo: HKEJ
Cecil Chao said daughter Gigi and grandson Ian will take over the family business. Photo: HKEJ

Tycoon Cecil Chao names daughter, grandson as successors

The daughter has prevailed.

Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao Sze-tsung said his 35-year-old lesbian daughter Gigi, whom he had been pressuring to marry a man, will help guide his three-year-old grandson Ian to be the successor of his business empire.

“I have a grandson. I may not be able to see him grow up, but Gigi can nurture him to take over my family business, so that it can be passed down,” the 78-year-old chairman of Cheuk Nang Holdings Ltd (00131.HK) said.

Not only does he want his daughter, instead of his grandson’s own father Howard, to take care of the boy, he also said he preferred Gigi to Howard, 32, to take over the business, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.

Gigi Chao will be promoted to deputy chairwoman of Cheuk Nang next month. She and her brother are currently executive directors of the company.

The Chaos hogged the headlines in 2012 when the family patriarch offered HK$500 million (US$64.5 million) to any man who would succeed in marrying his daughter. That same year, Gigi married Sean Eav, her partner of seven years, in France. She also wrote an emotional open letter asking her father to accept her for what she is and her personal choices.

Cecil Chao also said he “will never retire” when he announced the sale of its headquarters in Wan Chai on Tuesday, according to a separate report by the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Chao also talked about his plan to set up a trust fund in the next few years where part of the company’s earnings will be injected. Cheuk Nang will operate the trust fund and the profits generated will be distributed to family members, company staff and charity.

The company plans to launch the residential development One Kowloon Peak, two other projects in Malaysia and another in Hangzhou in the coming 12 months to raise more than HK$10 billion, the report said.

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EJ Insight reporter

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