Lotte calls off talks to buy SK’s 11st
[THE INVESTOR] Lotte Group has ended talks to acquire SK Planet’s online shopping site 11st, Lim Byeong-yeon, vice president of Lotte Corp., the newly established holding unit, said on Oct. 12.
“It is true that we were negotiating, but we ended the talks recently,” he said at a press conference in Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, southeastern Seoul.
Lotte had been eyeing 11st, one of the nation’s top online shopping sites, in its latest online push. But the two firms reportedly failed to narrow differences in sharing the management rights.
Some sources say SK Planet has recently resumed talks with Lotte’s crosstown rival Shinsegae. SK Planet has denied any plans to sell the business.
Lotte is now reviewing other options to make synergies and boost its online business, Lim added.
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On the day, Lotte held a ceremony to officially kick off the holding unit that it said aims to play a key role in simplifying the complicated cross-shareholding structure across affiliates and strengthening transparency in overall governing structure.
“Setting up the holding firm is the first step for us to become a ‘New Lotte,’” said Hwang Kag-gyu who serves as co-CEO along with Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin.
“This is the very ownership structure that Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho has hoped for,” he added, seemingly aware of the prolonged family feud over the group’s leadership succession.
Lotte Corp. owns assets worth 6.86 trillion won (US$6.05 billion) and has 4.8 trillion won in capital. The company oversees 42 subsidiaries in Korea alone along with some 100 abroad. It aims to increase the number to 70 through mergers and stake purchases.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)