17 February 2020
Lee Shau-lee is flanked by his sons Peter (right) and Martin at Henderson Land's annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. Photo: HKEJ
Lee Shau-lee is flanked by his sons Peter (right) and Martin at Henderson Land's annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. Photo: HKEJ

Tycoon Lee Shau-kee, 91, hands over business empire to sons

Lee Shau-kee, Hong Kong’s second-richest man after Li Ka-shing, has officially retired, following a similar move made by Li last year.

Lee, 91, stepped down as chairman and managing director of Henderson Land Development (00012.HK) because of his advanced age, the group announced during its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday.

Those who attended the event noted that Lee needed assistance from his sons as he entered the venue of the meeting. In his remarks, he said he was grateful for their support in the past decades.

Lee passed the torch to his sons Peter Lee Ka-kit and Martin Lee Ka-shing, who immediately took over as joint chairmen and managing directors.

The elder Lee, who remains as an executive director, stressed that he will continue to be involved in the company by advising on important decisions, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

In a written reply to an earlier foreign media interview that was distributed by the company on Tuesday, Lee said his sons have been working well in their respective jobs for many years, with Peter mainly taking charge of mainland business and Martin overseeing Hong Kong business.

Martin Lee told shareholders that he always maintains constant communication with his brother and they support and trust each other, while Peter Lee, the elder of the two, noted there are no new projects in the pipeline at the moment.

Asked about Lee’s post-retirement plans, Martin Lee said his father hopes to enjoy more time with his family, play with his grandchildren, and continue doing charity work.

Martin Lee said their father taught them the secrets of his success in the business world without any reservation, including how to use the smallest investment to achieve the biggest gains.

Lee, fondly called “Uncle Four” because he is the fourth child of his parents, came to Hong Kong in 1948 alone and founded Henderson Land Development in 1976 before taking it public five years later.

Lee’s business empire includes Henderson Land Development and other listed companies, namely Hong Kong and China Gas (0003.HK), Towngas China (01083.HK), Miramar Hotel and Investment (00071.HK), Hong Kong Ferry Holdings (00050.HK), Henderson Investment (00097.HK) and Sunlight REIT (00435.HK).

As of Tuesday, the total market value of the six stood at HK$543 billion.

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