Samsung sells chemical assets to Lotte for $2.63 billion, focus on batteries

October 30, 2015
Samsung workers in a South Korean chemical plant (Yonhap)

Samsung workers in a South Korean chemical plant (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Samsung Group said Friday it has agreed to sell its chemical assets to Lotte Group for about 3 trillion won (US$2.63 billion), in its latest move to streamline its non-core assets to focus on its main stay tech business.

Lotte Chemical Co. will acquire a 31.5 percent stake in Samsung Fine Chemicals Co. and buy 90 percent of Samsung SDI Co.’s chemical unit, Lotte’s chemical unit said in a release.

The stake sale is Samsung’s latest reshuffling efforts after the nation’s top family-controlled conglomerate last year sold stakes in four affiliates in the defense and chemical sectors to Hanwha Group.

It is the largest acquisition deal ever for Lotte Group, South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate.

Four other affiliates, including Samsung Electronics Co., a flagship unit of Samsung, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., also said they will sell shares in the chemical units.

Lotte said it will establish a new entity in February and finalize the deal within the first half of next year.

“Through this deal, Lotte will expand its business portfolio from the petrochemicals business to the fine chemicals business,” Lotte said in a release.

Lotte, a sprawling business empire whose businesses range from food and retail to construction and finance, entered the chemical business by acquiring a local company in 1990.

Following sales of the sluggish chemical unit, Samsung SDI said it will invest over 2 trillion won in its battery business in the next five years.

“The stake sale is aimed at reorganizing the company structure to focus on the promising battery business and acquire funds for overseas expansion,” Samsung SDI said.

On Friday, shares of Lotte Chemical plummeted 13.8 percent to 240,500 won. Samsung SDI dropped 4.05 perent to 106,500 won and Samsung Fine Chemicals plunged 10.17 percent to 37,550 won. The broader market decreased 0.23 percent.