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(LEAD) Lotte Holdings votes for incumbent Lotte chairman

All News 10:46 March 06, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS details in last four paras; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, March 6 (Yonhap) -- Shareholders of Tokyo-based Lotte Holdings Co., which controls South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate Lotte Group, voted on Sunday in support of Shin Dong-bin, the Lotte founder's second son and incumbent group chairman, helping strengthen his management grip against his elder brother Shin Dong-joo.

During the meeting in Tokyo, shareholders rejected the request made by Shin Dong-joo, the oldest of 94-year-old Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho's two sons, to dismiss his younger brother from the company's board of directors.

Dong-joo has been locking horns with Dong-bin after being stripped of his executive titles at three of Lotte's Japanese affiliates in early 2015.

Although the elder son claims the Lotte Group founder handpicked him as his successor, he has faced an uphill battle for control of the retail giant as he holds only about 30 percent of Lotte Holdings' shares.

Dong-bin also claims that his father is unable to make reasonable judgments due to mental health problems.

While the Lotte Group said the latest shareholders' meeting marks the end of the succession feud, the eldest son said it will submit the case again in the regular shareholders' gathering slated for June.

"(The meeting) confirmed shareholders' solid support for Shin Dong-bin," a Lotte Group spokesman said. "The succession feud, which was sparked by Shin Dong-joo's opposition against his own dismissal, is now virtually ended."

The Lotte Group added it will not "tolerate" other attempts made by the eldest son to "harm the corporate value and business order."

Through a separate press release, however, Dong-joo claimed that the management of Lotte Holdings imposed unreasonable pressure on shareholders, adding the matter will again be discussed in June.


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