Lotte in talks with suitors for China supermarkets
SEOUL: South Korea’s embattled Lotte Group said yesterday several firms have expressed interest in acquiring its Lotte Mart stores in China and that is aiming for a sale by the end of this year.
The country’s No.5 conglomerate decided to bow out of the business after most of its hypermarkets and supermarkets in China were shut down amid political tensions between the two nations.
“We are in detailed talks with some of those companies,” Lim Byung-yun, an executive vice-president at Lotte Corp, said at a news conference to mark the launch of the group’s new holding company.
The size of the deal is expected to be small at a couple hundred million dollars, a banking source said, declining to be identified as the talks were confidential. Goldman Sachs has been picked to managed the sale.
Lotte, already reeling from internal power struggles and a corruption scandal, has been particularly hard hit by the political friction after it agreed to hand over land for a US-made missile defence system – a plan that has angered Beijing, which argues the radar can penetrate far into its territory. – Reuters