Founder of Taiwan's StarLux Airlines wins bitter inheritance battle

Dubbed 'Prince Hamlet,' Chang Kuo-wei will inherit fortune from Evergreen Group founder

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Chang Kuo-wei (Facebook, StarLux Airlines)

Chang Kuo-wei (Facebook, StarLux Airlines)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A court in Taiwan has ruled StarLux Airlines founder Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) is entitled to around NT$14 billion (US$464 million) after a bitter family inheritance battle involving one of the country's most prominent conglomerates.

Chang Yung-fa (張榮發), the late founder of the Evergreen Group and EVA Airways, died in 2016 at the age of 88. He left behind a handwritten will naming his youngest son, Chang Kuo-wei, as the new chairman of the group.

This decision was challenged by the younger Chang’s half-brother, Chang Kuo-cheng (張國政), which led to a family feud that saw Chang ousted from the chairmanship. Chang later established his own carrier, StarLux Airlines, in a succession drama described by local media as “Prince Hamlet.” StarLux launched its first flights in January.

In a lawsuit over the validity of the will, the Taipei District Court has determined that the document is legally binding, as it was written by the late Evergreen founder, who was in possession of his faculties based on his medical record and witness accounts. The elder Chang had also added his signature to where the document was sealed, wrote UDN.

According to the will, made Dec. 16, 2014, Chang Kuo-wei will be the sole inheritor of his father’s money, shares, and private property. The court decision can be appealed.