Lotte founding family clash sends shares in group firms surging

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Published: July 29, 2015 8:46:25 AM

A battle among Lotte Group founding family members over control of the conglomerate's de facto holding company sent shares in group firms soaring on Wednesday as investors bet the founder's sons would seek to boost their stakes.

A battle among Lotte Group founding family members over control of the conglomerate’s de facto holding company sent shares in group firms soaring on Wednesday as investors bet the founder’s sons would seek to boost their stakes.

The board of Lotte Holdings, the de-facto holding company of the South Korean group, sacked 94-year-old founder Shin Kyuk-ho on Tuesday from his position as co-CEO after he tried to dismiss six members of the board, including his son Shin Dong-bin.

Shin Dong-bin had become co-CEO of Japan-based unlisted Lotte Holdings this month. His older brother Shin Dong-joo was dismissed as a director at the company and from various other positions in other Lotte Japan units between December and January.

Retailer Lotte Shopping Co Ltd was up 5 percent on Wednesday after earlier soaring as much as 13.1 percent to a two-month high. Shin Dong-bin and Shin Dong-joo owned 13.46 percent and 13.45 percent stakes respectively in Lotte Shopping as of end-March.

Shares in Lotte Confectionery Co Ltd also climbed 7.6 percent.

“Share prices are going up as some investors are hoping that the family members might increase their stakes in key companies to compete for control,” said Kim Jang-won, an analyst at IBK Securities.

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