Lotte picked as preferred bidder for Hi-Mart stake - report
SEOUL, July 4 |
SEOUL, July 4 (Reuters) - South Korean retailer Lotte Shopping Co has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a controlling stake in Hi-mart Co, South Korea's biggest electronics retailer, local media reported on Wednesday.
Hi-Mart said on Tuesday that shareholders had rejected a request by private equity firm MBK Partners to extend its exclusive negotiating rights to buy the stake valued at $700 million, re-opening the door to rival bidder Lotte. A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that MBK walked away from the auction after it found a worse than expected deterioration in the business.
A spokesman for Lotte Shopping was not immediately available for comment, while a spokesman at Eugene Corp, one of the Hi-mart biggest shareholders, said that it cannot confirm the report. (Reporting by Joyce Lee and Ju-min Park; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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