Lotte Group to bid for Hi Mart
South Korean-Japanese conglomerate Lotte Group has confirmed its desire to buy electronics chain Hi Mart, according to a report in the Korea Herald.
“We are not considering specifics as Hi Mart has yet to announce the details on its sale of shares. But we plan to decide on the participation in an opening bid,” the company said.
Lotte Group showed interest in bidding for Hi Mart after Eugene Corporation, Hi Mart’s largest shareholder which acquired Hi Mart for 1.95 trillion won in 2007, said it was open to bids. A shortlist will be revealed in March.
Acquiring Hi Mart is part of Lotte’s plan to find a new growth engine, advocated by Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin.
“Along with increasing efficiency of existing businesses and improving profits, we should take a strategy of expanding business into related areas,” said Dong-bin.
Hi Mart is a previous sales unit of Daewoo Electronics, however, it became an independent unit in 1999 when Daewoo went through bankruptcy. In 2010, Hi Mart’s sales had risen to 3.5 trillion won from just 680 billion won in 1999.