93-year-old Lotte founder hospitalized

Shin Kyuk-ho, founder of Lotte Group, a retail and food conglomerate based in South Korea and Japan, has been taken to a local hospital, industry sources said Monday.

The 93-year-old business tycoon was brought to Seoul National University Hospital, located in central Seoul, earlier in the day.

Shin has been receiving reports on the group’s management in his office located in a Lotte-owned hotel in Seoul.

An official from SDJ Corp., a company established by Shin’s elder son, Dong-joo, said the founder is receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate.

The official said Shin’s condition is not critical, adding he is currently being cared for by Dong-joo.

Lotte, the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate, is mired in a leadership dispute between group founder Shin Kyuk-ho’s two sons Dong-joo and Dong-bin who had each controlled the company’s operations in Japan and Korea until early this year.

While Dong-joo was ousted from key positions at Japanese units, Dong-bin took the helm of Tokyo-based Lotte Holdings, the group’s holding firm, after winning support from Japanese shareholders in August.

Dong-bin also has been claiming that the founder’s old age has blurred his mental capacity.

SOURCE: THE KOREA TIMES

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