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Lotte to sell off China hypermarket chain by year-end

South Korean retail giant Lotte Shopping Co. Ltd. is aiming to sell its Lotte Mart stores in China by the end of this year, Reuters reported Oct. 12, citing comments made by Lotte Corp. executive vice president Lim Byung-yun during a news conference in Seoul.

The embattled retailer has been mulling an exit strategy in China since earlier this year, seeking potential buyers for its 99 Lotte Mart stores and 13 Lotte Super stores in the country as ongoing tensions between Seoul and Beijing continue to impact its business.

Several companies have expressed interest in acquiring the Lotte Mart hypermarket chain, and "detailed talks" with some of them are underway, Lim said.

However, the transaction is expected to be small, Reuters reported, citing a banking source who said it would likely be at "a couple hundred million dollars."

Goldman Sachs is managing the sale.

The news conference was being held to announce the launch of Lotte Corp., which was established to serve as a holding company for the Lotte Group conglomerate. Lotte Shopping was one of four affiliates to be split into investment and business entities, with the investment entities merged to form Lotte Corp.