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Lotte Duty Free drawing up luxury brand shopping list

South Korea’s largest travel retail company, Lotte Duty Free, is drawing up a shortlist of targets in a bid to acquire a foreign luxury goods brand.

Its merger-and-acquisition plan is aimed at boosting revenue through business verticals, with the company seeking to scale up its bargaining power by having a premium luxury brand under its wing to help attract Chinese tourists, reports Pulse.

It is seeking to create a synergy from having a business structure similar to the second-biggest global duty-free retailer DFS Group, which is owned by French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH.

Lotte Duty Free is also said to be considering taking over an overseas duty-free shop company. Part of the proceeds from the upcoming IPO of Hotel Lotte this year are expected to support the company’s plans.

This follows an announcement earlier this year by Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin that his vision is to develop its duty-free retail business to be the world’s largest by 2020. Latest figures show it running third in 2014 to Dufry of Switzerland (4.85 billion euros) and DFS Group of the US (3.75 billion euros).

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