Monday, June 1, 2020
Brotherly Feud Reignited at Lotte Group
A Bitter Sibling Feud
Brotherly Feud Reignited at Lotte Group
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • April 29, 2020, 11:12
Share articles

The bitter sibling feud between Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin and his elder brother, SDJ Corp. chairman Shin Dong-ju, has been reignited as the latter is seeking to remove his younger brother from the board of Japan’s Lotte Holdings.

Lotte Holdings, the holding company of Lotte Group’s Japanese operations, is scheduled to hold a regular shareholders’ meeting in June this year. Shin Dong-ju has reportedly submitted a shareholder proposal demanding the dismissal of Shin Dong-bin from the company’s board. The proposal included a request to revise the articles of incorporation to to prevent a person who was convicted from taking office as a director.

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin was convicted in a trial in 2019. Shin Dong-ju argues that the younger brother’s conviction undermined the brand value, reputation, and corporate value of Lotte Group severely. This is the reason for his demand that the Lotte chairman be removed from the board of Lotte Holdings.

Shin Dong-joo said that if his shareholder proposal is rejected in the general shareholders’ meeting, he is planning to file a lawsuit with a Japanese court to request the dismissal of Shin Dong-bin as the Japanese company law bans a convicted person from becoming a corporate director.

Shin Dong-bin was sentenced to two years and six months in prison with four years of probation in October of 2019 on charges of bribing former President Park Geun-hye. He was elected chairman of Lotte Holdings in March and took office this month. The post had been left vacant since 2017 when the group’s former chairman, the late Shin Kyuk-ho, was promoted to an honorary chairman. Shin died in January 2020.

Since 2015, Shin Dong-ju has submitted a proposal for the dismissal of his brother five times, all in vain. His proposal is unlikely to be accepted this time either. Major shareholders of Lotte Holdings include Kwang Yoon Sa (28.1 percent), employee holding company (27.8 percent), affiliates (13.9 percent), and executive holding company (6 percent). Shin Dong-ju is the largest shareholder of Kwang Yoon Sa, but all other major shareholders are in support of Shin Dong-bin.