SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – Lotte Group’s decision to cut its losses on its Lotte Mart business in China is reportedly drawing interest from five to 10 potential buyers, according to sources in the investment banking industry.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, one source said, “The names of the firms involved in negotiations cannot be revealed, but there are five to 10 firms with real interest that are in ongoing discussions with the organizer of the sale.”
Goldman Sachs has been tasked with heading the sales operation and has been in contact with firms from a wide range of industries such as American private equity funds, American and European retailers, and Thai retail giant CP Group.
With 110 locations on property either owned outright or on long-term leases, Lotte Group’s holdings are seen as attractive commodities that could serve as a firm foothold for business operations in China. The fact that the majority of Lotte’s properties are in areas with high population density like Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing make them even more alluring for buyers.
Another company’s loss is another company’s gain, as geopolitical tensions and economic blockades have strangled the life out of Lotte Group’s China retail operations but in turn have opened the doors for companies hailing from countries on more agreeable terms to swoop in. Whichever the buyer may ultimately be, it will be wise to learn what Lotte Group learned the hard way; politics and economics are deeply intertwined.