October 30, 2015 / 12:30 AM / 3 years ago

Samsung Group sells chemical assets to Lotte Group for $2.6 billion

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] will sell its chemicals businesses to Lotte Group for about 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion), the latest move in efforts to simplify its ownership structure ahead of a transfer of power from its elderly chief to his heirs.

Samsung SDI Co Ltd (006400.KS) said on Friday it will spin off its chemical business into a separate company, and sell a 90 percent stake in the company to Lotte Chemical Corp (011170.KS) for 2.3 trillion won.

Lotte Chemical is also buying a 465 billion won stake in Samsung Fine Chemicals (004000.KS) from various Samsung Group units, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), Lotte said.

Samsung Group has been exiting non-core businesses since last year, when the company said it would sell stakes in four affiliates in the defense and chemical sectors to Hanwha Group, another local conglomerate.

Lotte Chemical shares fell 12 percent in early trade as analysts questioned the acquisition price, although many agreed the M&A will expand Lotte Chemical’s limited portfolio from mostly common plastic to value-added, specialty chemical products used in automobiles or home appliances.

Shares in Samsung Fine Chemicals fell more than 10 percent, while Samsung SDI rose 3 percent compared to a 0.1 percent drop in the wide market .KS11

Reporting by Joyce Lee and Se Young Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin

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