Eldest son at Lotte takes battle online with new website

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Eldest son at Lotte takes battle online with new website

The infamous battle between the two brothers of Lotte Group has gone digital.

Shin Dong-joo, the eldest son of Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho, is creating a website that will likely take on his younger brother, who is the current chairman of the retail giant.

Shin Dong-joo, chairman of his own Seoul-based company SDJ Corporation, unveiled plans to launch the website under the banner of normalizing management of Lotte Group during an interview with Japanese news agency Jiji Press on Monday.

The website, which goes up today, will be dedicated to revealing information about Lotte Group’s corporate management structure to the retail group’s Japanese employees. It is likely intended to increase his clout among Japanese workers.

“Since the information about Lotte Holdings is restricted, employees would be in the dark about what is going on now,” he said, referring to the holding company of Lotte Group, which was founded in Japan. “The site will inform workers about the problems associated with the management of Lotte Holdings.”

Shin Dong-joo also plans to set up a similar website in Korean next month.

Currently, former chairman of KDB Financial Group Min Euoo-sung has bought a domain name using Namoo Corporation, a private equity fund management company that he owns.

Min is currently an advisor to Shin Dong-joo.

The ongoing fraternal battle between the scions of the founding family started late last year and heightened in January when Shin Dong-joo was removed from his position as vice chairman of Lotte Holdings.

It continued in July, when Shin Dong-joo attempted a coup with his father, founder Shin Kyuk-ho, to overthrow his brother as head of Lotte Holdings. It failed, leading to the ousting of the patriarch from a leadership role. Since then, the older brother has been waging a fight against Shin Dong-bin to regain his position and get Shin Kyuk-ho back on the board of Lotte Holdings.

The opening of the website is expected to further increase tension with Lotte Holdings CEO Takayuki Tsukuda, who is a strong ally of the younger son.

Shin Dong-joo has sued both his younger brother and Tsukuda, blaming the CEO for getting him fired from Lotte Holdings by providing distorted information about him to his father.

The Japanese CEO downplayed the possibility of the older son’s return to Lotte Holdings in an interview with Nikkei last week.


BY LEE HYUN-TAEK, PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]



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