South Korea’s retail-to-chemical conglomerate, Lotte Group, will sell its two financial units, the group’s holding company said Tuesday, in a move that speeds up its transition into a holding company structure.
Lotte Corp., the group’s holding firm, said it has decided to sell the two financial units — Lotte Insurance Co. and Lotte Card Co.
Under a South Korean law, an industrial holding company is banned from holding a majority stake in a financial unit to prevent owners of family-run business conglomerates from exploiting a financial unit as their private coffers.
Lotte created the holding firm in October last year, and it must unload its majority stake in financial units within two years.
Since Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was freed from prison last month on a suspended sentence in a bribery investigation, Lotte has stepped up its efforts to transform itself into a holding company structure.
Proponents say a holding company structure is an improved format for family-run business conglomerates, or chaebol, to simplify their complex ownership structure.
Market watchers said Woori Financial Holding and KB Financial Group may be interested in buying Lotte Card. (Yonhap)