The Sharif empire split into two following the death of Mian Shahbaz Sharif as his sons have opted to divide their assets.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), opted to split up their holdings, thus granting both greater independence in decision-making.

Rumours of differences between the brothers have also been floating for several months, since the demise of their father.

The differences are thought to have been aggravated by Shahbaz's marriage to Tehmina Durrani.

However, their younger brother Abbas Sharif refused to separate his assets and authorised Nawaz Sharif to look after them, sources added. Abbas is a devout man who has not followed his brothers into politics.

Under the new alignment of assets, Shahbaz owns the massive Ramazan Sugar Mill, while Chaudhry Sugar Mill and Hamza Chipboard and Paper Mill would remain in Nawaz's control.

In terms of property distribution, Shahbaz appears to have got a better deal as the Sharif family had obtained a Rs590 million(Dh 36.42 million) loan on Chaudhry Sugar Mill and Hamza Chipboard and Paper Mill, sources said, adding that the Sharif brothers still owed Rs200 million, but after the division of property, Nawaz would pay the outstanding sum.

Shahbaz also got the Sharifs main business offices at 6-A New Muslim Town, Lahore, while Nawaz Sharif opened a new office at 70 Abu Bakar Block, Lahore, sources said.

The late Mian Sharif had bought three flats in London for his three sons, which now had been distributed among the brothers, sources said, adding that Shahbaz had already shifted into his flat while Nawaz planned to shift into his flat if the government released his travel documents.

The property at Raiwind would also be given to Shahbaz after the necessary legal documentation, sources said, adding that Nusrat Shahbaz's (Shahbaz's wife) recent trip to Pakistan was for this purpose.

Sources said Shahbaz would be given a share only from the Shaheen agriculture farm, while control of Sharif Medical City and Sharif Education Complex would remain with Nawaz.

The Pakistani government had seized a big portion of the Sharifs' property including two bungalows in Model Town, an office on Empress Road and Ittefaq Foundry, the first enterprise in the Sharifs industrial success story, when the Sharif family went into exile to Saudi Arabia on December 10, 2001.

Sources said that at the time of Ittefaq Foundry's auction, Nawaz showed interest in buying it, but his late father forbade him from doing so.

Sources said that in exile, the Sharif family had set up Al-Azizia Steel Mill in Saudi Arabia, but after Mian Sharif's death, the Sharif brothers sold the mill to Shaikh Mohammad Saeed.