Lotte Will Cut Price for Unit IPO -- WSJ

By Yantoultra Ngui and P.R. Venkat Features Dow Jones Newswires

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (July 1, 2017).

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SINGAPORE -- South Korea's Lotte Group will lower the price for the initial public offering of its Malaysian petrochemical unit due to tepid demand, people familiar with the process said Friday.

The conglomerate will now look to raise $1.1 billion from the IPO of Lotte Chemical Titan, the people said, selling 740.48 million shares at 6.50 ringgit ($1.51). That is down from the initial target of $1.4 billion, if the shares had sold at the high end of the earlier price range of 7.60 ringgit to 8 ringgit.

Most of the quality demand was coming for a lower price, the people said, adding that the book-building process will start Monday.

Other people familiar with the process said earlier that four investors have agreed to take up to 20% of the IPO: Malaysian state-owned fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd., insurance firm Great Eastern and asset managers Maybank Islamic Asset Management and Eastspring Investments.

A spokeswoman for Lotte Group didn't immediately respond to request for comment.

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Its IPO plans were delayed after South Korean prosecutors charged the parent company's chairman and four of his family members with tax evasion and embezzlement in October. Lotte apologized for "causing concern" and said it would cooperate with the investigation process. In January the chairman's sister was sentenced to three years in prison.

Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, has interests in duty-free stores, luxury hotels and insurance. It boasts annual sales of about $74 billion, and has been controlled by the Shin family since it was established in 1948.

The Malaysia IPO market isn't a big one. If successful, the Lotte Chemical Titan IPO would be the largest in nearly five years, since Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. set the record by raising $1.5 billion.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com and P.R. Venkat at venkat.pr@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 01, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)