Doosan Group confirms Lotte as liquor unit buyer

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Doosan Group confirms Lotte as liquor unit buyer

Popular soju brand Cheoum Cheoreom will now be owned by Lotte instead of Doosan.

The Doosan Group’s flagship unit Doosan Corp. will sell its liquor unit to Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co., according to Doosan yesterday. The liquor division includes popular soju brands Cheoum Cheoreom and Green as well as wine brand Majuang.

The company said that it chose Lotte Chilsung over four others. The bidders included foreign and domestic private equity firms which the company declined to name. According to Yonhap News Agency, Lotte Chilsung, a subsidiary of Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate, Lotte Group, offered between 500 billion won ($380.2 million) and 600 billion won for Doosan’s liquor unit.

“Starting early next year, Lotte Chilsung will conduct due diligence for three to four weeks. We expect the sale to be finalized by the end of next February,” the Doosan Corp. said in an official statement.

At present, Jinro is the leader in the Korean soju market with an around 51 percent market share. Doosan Corp.’s liquor unit comes in second, taking up 13 percent. The liquor unit last year saw sales of 341.9 billion won with operating profit of 21.4 billion won.

The move follows Doosan’s sale in November of Doosan Techpack BG, its packaging unit, to private equity firm MBK Partners for 400 billion won.

Doosan’s beer division, Oriental Brewery, was sold in 1998 to Belgian brewer InBev after the group stated that it would concentrate on developing core businesses including Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction

By Cho Jae-eun Staff Reporter []
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