[THE INVESTOR] Shinsegae Group is considering selling five of its six E-mart supermarket stores in China to Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group, amid prolonged diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Beijing over THAAD deployment, according to news reports on Sept. 8.
Maeil Business News reported that details of the deal will be revealed next week, citing an unnamed industry source.
CP Group, a major Thai conglomerate, owns the Lotus supermarket chain globally. If the deal is signed, the E-mart stores are likely to be renamed as Lotus stores.
E-mart entered the Chinese market in 1997. The number of outlets reached 26 but many were shut down due to sluggish sales and only six operate now. E-mart’s combined operating loss over the past five years is estimated at about 200 billion won (US$177.57 million).
After selling five stores, Shinsegae reportedly plans to sell the remaining outlet soon, hinting at the possible exit of the supermarket chain from China.
An E-mart spokesperson declined to confirm any information related to the deal.
Meanwhile, Lotte Group last month announced a new US$300 million funding plan to revive operations of its Lotte Mart stores in China.
By Song Seung-hyun (email@example.com)