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Lotte Shopping, IMM Private Equity to jointly acquire Hanssem
Lotte Shopping will be buying Hanssem, a large Korean furniture company. The retail company was said to have been chosen by the private equity firm, IMM, to sign a joint deal for the purchase of a stake worth ₩1.5 trillion or around $1.3 billion.
The Korea Economic Daily reported that with Lotte Shopping taking over the furniture firm, an intensified competition among department stores in South Korea is expected. This is because Lotte has more to offer now to their customers, and for some of the major shopping places that also sell furniture like Hyundai Department Store Group that owns Hyundai Livart Furniture Co., and Shinsegae Group that has the Casamia Co. furniture brand, they will be threatened with a brand like Hanssem, the nation’s largest furniture and home furnishing firm.
In any case, it was reported that IMM PE chose Lotte Shopping to jointly acquire Hanssem since it is the perfect candidate as a strategic investor. Sources in the investment banking industry said that the department store firm will be investing ₩299.5 billion to help IMM fund the buyout. The deal between the companies is said to be a limited partnership for this transaction only.
IMM PE and Hanssem will be signing the share purchase agreement (SPA) this week. It was mentioned that back in July, the private equity firm already signed a preliminary agreement to take over a 30.21% stake in the furniture company. Based on the agreement, the stake includes management rights.
It was said that the Lotte Group made the decision to join IMM for the acquisition because its own Lotte Himart, an electronics outlet chain, and the Lotte Department Store can create synergy with the furniture business. Moreover, Lotte Engineering & Construction Co. can also collaborate with Hanssem’s line.
According to Pulse News, IMM PE announced its official decision to choose Lotte Shopping late last week. The PEF company decided which one to pick as a partner in the acquisition after considering which would be more favorable in terms of credit evaluation.
“We expect the investment to help enhance product competitiveness, plan differentiated space, and develop contents, while also creating synergy as a group by partnering with construction and Hi-mart affiliates,” an official at Lotte Shopping said.