Korean news media report Home Plus is negotiating to acquire about 100 365 Plus stores from C-Space, a subsidiary of the industrial conglomerate Hanwha Group, which also operates department stores in South Korea.
If the deal proceeds, Home Plus would have about 320 stores – a network large enough to make it the nation’s fifth largest c-store group in terms of store numbers, overtaking rival Shinsegae’s WithMe chain.
“We are in exclusive talks with Home Plus and may be able to finalise the deal by the year’s end once price negotiations are completed,” a Home Plus executive said.
Home Plus only entered the convenience store business in early 2012 and still trails CU, GS25, 7-Eleven and Ministop.
Korea’s c-store sector has been growing at about 17 per cent per anum for the last five years, prompting significant investment in the sector to secure prime locations.
Home Plus is also focusing on expanding its network of Home Plus Express stores – compact supermarkets larger than convenience stores.
The 365 Plus store network is largely concentrated on the Gyeonggi Province and the nation’s southeast.