Shin Dong-joo to give fifth try to seize Lotte Group, overthrow his brother

SEOUL (The Korea Herald/ANN) - Shin Dong-joo, a former vice chairman of Lotte Holdings who was defeated in a management right feud with currently imprisoned younger brother Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin is attempting for the fifth time to seize his control over the group.

Shin Dong-joo, a former vice chairman of Lotte Holdings who was defeated in a management right feud with currently imprisoned younger brother Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin is attempting to seize his control over the group once again.
 
According to Lotte Holdings, a Japanese firm which owns major stakes in many Lotte units and thus binds the whole conglomerate, it will hold a general a shareholders meeting on June 29 in Tokyo, upon Dong-joo’s request.

If held, it will be Dong-joo’s fifth trial to remove his younger brother Dong-bin from the board of directors.

In all of the four previous voting, which were held in August 2015, March 2016, June 2016 and June 2017, Dong-bin has won support from the Japanese management and shareholders.

However, the situation may be different this time, industry experts said.

In February, Dong-bin voluntarily stepped down as CEO of Lotte Holdings after he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Since then, he has been maintaining his position as director.

A court trial on Dong-bin’s appeal case is likely to take place in mid-August, with a ruling expected in late September.

To leverage such situation, Dong-joo is likely to urge shareholders during a meeting to appoint him as a director and remove both Dong-bin and Dong-bin’s confidant Lotte Holdings President Takayuki Tsukuda from the board.

Sources said Dong-joo has been putting in a last-ditch effort recently to persuade and win the trust of shareholders to demand Dong-bin to quit as a director. Dong-joo claims that his brother has put Lotte Group in trouble and undermined the society’s trust in the group due to his criminal acts.

This will be the first shareholders’ meeting without Dong-bin attending.

Although Dong-bin’s jailing may leave an opening for Dong-joo, some said it will be still difficult for Dong-joo to succeed, this time again.

In March, Dong-joo lost a lawsuit filed with the Japanese court. He has claimed that his dismissal from the boards of directors of Lotte, Lotte International, Lotte Corporation and Lotte Real Estate in Korea was unfair.

Dong-joo has been No. 2 in the group after the ailing Lotte Founder Shin Kyuk-ho fired him in 2015 due to management issues and stripped him of his voting rights as a vice chairman.

“Dong-joo may have felt in his bones that the situation got two strikes against him. That’s why he visited Dong-bin in a detention center in April, to create an image towards rapprochement with his younger brother and gain positive publicity,” said an official from Lotte Group.

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