[THE INVESTOR] Korean retail giant E-mart said on Sept. 13 that it has decided to sell off its 3.3 percent stake in Costco Korea, along with other assets related to the US discount supermarket chain.
The Korean firm declined to disclose the deal price.
E-mart has owned the stake after their joint venture Price Club was acquired by Costco in 1994. The Korean firm has also leased sites in Seoul, Daegu and Daejeon for Costco outlets. There were speculations that E-mart could locate its own stores on the sites when the lease contracts expire in May next year.
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E-mart said the sell-off deal is a win-win for both firms. The Korean firm needed to secure some cash for restructuring, while Costco wanted to buy the land sites to continue operations.
The deal comes as E-mart, a Shinsegae Group affiliate, is selling off assets it owns worldwide. The firm recently signed a contract with a local real estate developer to sell an E-mart store in Daegu, which it acquired from Wal-Mart Korea in 2006. It is also considering selling five of its six E-mart outlets in China to Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)