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Late Lotte founder’s asset inheritance unlikely to affect group

Lotte Group founder and honorary Chairman Shin Kyuk-ho (Yonhap)
Lotte Group founder and honorary Chairman Shin Kyuk-ho (Yonhap)

The demise of Lotte Group founder and Honorary Chairman Shin Kyuk-ho on Sunday has put the spotlight on the distribution of his assets amongst his kin, reportedly worth over 1 trillion won ($864 million).

However, market watchers are of the opinion that it will not affect the current leadership structure of Lotte Group, led by his second son and Chairman Shin Dong-bin.

The inheritance is expected to be finalized through family counseling under the guidance of a legal representative.

The late Shin held 3.1 percent stake in Lotte Holdings in Korea that controls 69 affiliates, according to regulatory filings. He has a 1.3 percent stake in Lotte Chilsung Beverage, 0.93 percent stake in Lotte Shopping and 4.48 percent in Lotte Confectionery.

He also held a 6.87 percent stake in unlisted firm Lotte Property & Development, apart from owning a golf course site worth 450 billion won in Incheon.

In Japan, the late chairman had a 0.83 stake in Kwang Yoon Sa, the biggest holder of Lotte Holdings. He held a 0.45 percent stake in Lotte Holdings, a 9.26 percent stake in Lotte Green Service and 1.71 percent shares in investment firm LSI. 

Shin’s property management has been undertaken by local law firm Sun since 2017, and he has reportedly not left a will.

Despite the considerable wealth, the issue of distribution is unlikely to affect Lotte Group’s management rights, according to industry watchers. Shin had stepped back from the front lines of management amid the yearslong public battle between his two sons for management control that started in 2015.

“The property matters of Honorary Chairman Shin will be dealt with according to the procedures prescribed by the law. No matter what the decision is, there will be no impact on the group’s corporate governance or management rights,” a company spokesperson said.

The family includes his legal wife Shigemitsu Hatsuko, eldest son and former Lotte Holdings in Japan Vice Chairman Shin Dong-joo, second son and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, eldest daughter and Lotte Scholarship Foundation President Shin Young-ja, romantic partner Seo Mi-kyung and his daughter with Seo, Shin Yu-mi.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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