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Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho dies at 97 Updated: 2020-01-20 13:37:21 KST

The founder of Lotte Group, Shin Kyuk-ho, died on Sunday at the age of 97.
His life was filled with ups and downs but there's no doubt that he played a huge role in helping to develop the Korean economy after the Korean War, turning Lotte into one of the countries biggest companies.
Our Kim Dami is at Shin's public funeral service.
Dami?

Devin, I'm here at a memorial alter at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, where visitors are filtering in to pay their respects for the man some called the "CEO of the Korea Strait" - the sea passage between South Korea and Japan.
As you mentioned, Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho passed away due to a chronic illness on Sunday at the age of 97.
The Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Jae-yong, and former prime minister Lee Nak-yeon came by this morning (and the Presidential chief of staff for policy Kim Sang-jo visited this afternoon) to pay their respects.
Born during Japan's colonial rule of Korea, Shin established Lotte in Tokyo in 1948 as a small chewing gum manufacturer.
Nineteen years later, he returned to his home country to expand his business.
Lotte is now South Korea's fifth largest conglomerate with wide-ranging operations from cinemas, hotels and theme parks to oil and chemical factories.
With Shin's death,all the founders of South Korea's top five conglomerates - Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Lotte and SK - have passed away.
The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Shin laid the groundwork for South Korea's food, retail and tourism industries with his "pioneering investments and aggressive management."
After a funeral ceremony on Wednesday, the business tycoon will be buried in his hometown Ulju-gun in Ulsan City.


Dami, like many other powerful, family-controlled conglomerates in Korea, Lotte has seen its own share of corruption scandals and family disputes.

Right, the family scandal dates back to 2015, when a fight for control of the group broke out between Shin Kyuk-ho's two sons - Shin Dong-joo and Shin Dong-bin - putting the company in a risky position.
After defending a series of his elder brother's attempts to take the helm, Shin Dong-bin officially took over from his ailing father.
But the two brothers' constant squabbling led to an investigation by South Korean prosecutors, which in turn two years later resulted in Shin Kyuk-ho himself being sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of embezzlement and breach of trust.
With a three percent stake in Lotte Corporation and other assets, the late Shin's fortune is estimated at well over 1 trillion won, that's around 8-hundred 62-million U.S. dollars.
Shin reportedly did not leave a will.
But according to Lotte Group, Shin's assets will be handled in accordance with the law, and most importantly, now that Shin Dong-bin, the current Lotte Chairman, is firmly in charge, the result will NOT affect the governance structure of the conglomerate.
That's all from me, Devin.
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