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Lotte chief unseated from group's virtual holding firm

The chief of South Korean retail giant Lotte Group was sacked on Wednesday as an executive member of Japan-based Kojunsha Corp., the group's virtual holding firm, in the latest step taken by his elder brother to gain control over South Korea's No. 5 conglomerate.

In a hastily arranged shareholder meeting in Japan, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin lost his seat on the board of Kojunsha, which is at the apex of the group's entire governance structure, with a 28 percent stake in Lotte Holdings, the group's holding firm, according to his elder brother Shin Dong-joo, who owns a 50 percent stake in the Japanese package manufacturing firm.

The group's business spans from luxury hotels to amusement parks, mostly located in South Korea and Japan.

Dong-bin has a 38.8 percent stake in Kojunsha, and their father and group founder Shin Kyuck-ho owns 0.8 percent.

But Lotte Group said earlier even if its chairman were to be removed from Kojunsha's board, it would have little impact on the group management.

Lotte Holdings is 28 percent owned by employees, 20 percent by affiliates and 11 percent by special investment vehicles.

Lotte, a retail giant, has been mired in the family squabble involving the founder and his two sons, who are sparring to bolster their grip on the group.

In August, Dong-bin bagged a landslide win at a shareholders meeting for Lotte Holdings, in what was thought to be the end of the family squabble.

Last week, Dong-joo said he will lodge suits against his younger brother to regain the helm of the group. (Yonhap)

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