TV host Kang Ho-dong, who quit due to controversy over his alleged tax evasion, has pledged to donate the entire profits from his shares in the restaurant franchise 678 to charity.
678 operates about 140 outlets across the country. Kang (42) has a 33.3 percent stake.
"Donating the shares themselves to charity is not readily possible because 678 is not listed on KOSDAQ," a 678 spokesman said. "Instead, Kang will donate the profits from his shares."
Given that 678 was valued at W30 billion (US$1=W1,138) in 2010, and the business has since expanded, the amount Kang can donate is estimated to run into the billions, the spokesman said. He added the chain's headquarters and outlets are planning to join Kang's charitable contributions. "Kang is currently discussing with company executives how and where to donate his money," he said.
A staffer of Kang's agency said, "He has long thought about doing this. We're glad to be able to prepare for long-term donations."
Earlier, Kang also donated a plot of land in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province worth W2 billion to Asan Medical Center in Seoul and started a project to build a school and other facilities for children in Sudan.
Meanwhile, Kang told reporters at the wedding of his former sidekick Woo Seung-min on Sunday that he has "not thought seriously about returning to TV yet."