[THE INVESTOR] The National Pension Service on Aug. 25 said it has decided to back Lotte Group’s planned merger of four affiliates to create a holding company.
The retail giant plans to split each of the four listed firms -- Lotte Shopping, Lotte Chilsung Beverage, Lotte Confectionery and Lotte Foods -- into holding and operating firms. After that, the holding firms would be merged into one holding company under Lotte Confectionery, in what analysts see as a move to strengthen Chairman Shin Dong-bin’s control amid a bitter dispute with his older brother over management control.
The NPS holds a 6.07 percent stake in Lotte Shopping, a 4.03 percent stake in Lotte Confectionery, a 10.54 percent stake in Lotte Chilsung Beverage and a 12.3percent share in Lotte Foods.
A group of individual shareholders of the Lotte affiliates have opposed the merger plan, saying it is aimed at shifting business risks of Lotte Shopping to the three other affiliates.
The individual shareholders have asked the NPS not to vote for Lotte’s merger plan.
The four Lotte affiliates plan to hold shareholders meetings next week to vote on the merger plan.
By Alex Lee and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)