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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s fourth-largest conglomerate LG Group said its Chairman Koo Bon-moo passed away on Sunday due to illness.

FILE PHOTO - LG Group chairman Koo Bon-moo meets U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) as they attend the groundbreaking of a factory for Compact Power Inc. in Holland, Michigan, U.S. July 15, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Picture

Koo, 73, had been struggling with an illness for a year, LG Group said in a statement.

“Becoming the third chairman of LG at the age of 50 in 1995, Koo established key three businesses - electronics, chemicals and telecommunications - led a global company LG, and contributed to driving (South Korea’s) industrial competitiveness and national economic development,” LG said.

FILE PHOTO - LG Electronics' company logo is seen at a shop in central Seoul, July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File Picture

A group official said Koo had been unwell for a year and had undergone surgery. The official declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Prior to its chairman’s death, LG Group had established a holding company in order to streamline ownership structure and begin the process of succession.

LG Corp (003550.KS), a holding company of the electronics-to-chemicals conglomerate, said on Thursday its longtime chairman was unwell and planned to nominate his son to its board of directors in preparation for a leadership succession.

Heir apparent Koo Kwang-mo is from the fourth generation of LG Group’s controlling family. He owns 6 percent of LG Corp and works as a senior official at LG Electronics Inc (066570.KS).

The senior Koo’s funeral will be held privately at the request of the family, the company said.

Reporting by Jane Chung and Ju-min Park; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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currensceneFLOGO WHTsquareThough not the oldest form of currency, some form of shell money appears to have been found on almost every continent. The shell most widely used worldwide as currency was the shell of Cypraea moneta, the money cowry.

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