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Lotte founder built empire in 2 lands, but wished to conquer steel

Shin Kyuk-ho was last of South Korea's original chaebol generation

Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho in 1990: He built an empire that spanned candy, hotels, department stores and petrochemicals. 

SEOUL -- A Japanese business figure acquainted with Shin Kyuk-ho would never forget the look on his face as the Lotte group founder expressed regret about being unable to create an integrated steelmaker.

Shin, known as Takeo Shigemitsu in Japan, died Sunday at the age of 98 after building an empire that spanned candy, hotels, department stores and petrochemicals. Steel was one area that eluded the grasp of his chaebol, one of South Korea's family-run conglomerates.

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