Lotte in talks with suitors for China su­per­mar­kets

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

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

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