Bloomberg News

Formosa Plastics Heir Sues Over $15 Billion in Trusts

April 09, 2013

Winston Wong, the son of Formosa Plastics (1301) Group’s late founder Wang Yung-ching, sued an adviser for transferring the bulk of the family fortune valued at $15 billion into Bermuda trusts controlled by other family members.

Hung Wen Hsiung set up the trusts, excluding Wang, referred to in court documents as Y.C. Wang, from the ownership and some members of his direct family as beneficiaries, according to a statement of claim filed by Wong yesterday in the Supreme Court of Bermuda.

“We are seeking to invalidate the transfers and get a declaration that the assets are held for all the heirs of Y.C. Wang,” Mark Stoutenburg, Wong’s lawyer, said in a phone interview. Frank Fu, a spokesman for the Formosa Plastics Group, declined to comment on the lawsuit when reached by phone today.

Bermuda is the fourth jurisdiction where Wong filed claims to recover the estate of his father, which he said is valued at $18 billion. Y.C. Wang died in 2008 having founded Taiwan’s biggest diversified industrial company, Formosa Plastics Group, which made pretax profit of NT$143 billion ($4.8 billion) in 2011, according to the company’s website. The group has worldwide assets valued at more than $85 billion and employs 100,000 people, according to the lawsuit.

Hong Kong Claim

Wong’s claim in Hong Kong alleging Hung and three half- sisters siphoned assets from the estate is pending. An application in New Jersey was dismissed on jurisdiction grounds and proceedings in Taiwan were resolved.

Hung, Wong’s half-sisters Susan Wang and Sandy Wang, as well as group chairman William Wong and Wilfred Wang are among the trusts’ managers, according to a copy of the court filing provided by Stoutenburg.

The elder Wang married Wang Yueh-lan in 1935, with whom he had no children, and had nine children by two other women, the late Yang Chiao Wang and Lee Pao Chu. Winston Wong is Yang’s eldest son.

Wang died in the U.S. in 2008 at the age of 91. He started selling rice in 1932 as his first business before founding Formosa Plastics Corp., a maker of polyvinyl chloride or PVC, in 1954. With factories in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, the U.S. and Vietnam, Formosa’s products range from semiconductors, textiles, to detergents.

An independent global investigation has identified total assets worth nearly $18 billion, according to a 2011 lawsuit filed in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance.

The case is Between Wong Wen-Young and Grand View Private Trust Co., Supreme Court of Bermuda.

To contact the reporter on this story: Debra Mao in Taipei at dmao5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net


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