Author: Gordon Platt

South Korea’s largest department store chain, Lotte Shopping, raised $3.5 billion in its February initial public offering, including $2.8 billion in global depositary receipts. The issue of GDRs, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange, was the largest DR capital raising in history, according to Citigroup, which was appointed as depositary for the global IPO. The previous record was held by Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan, which raised $2.6 billion in American depositary receipts in 2005.

The Lotte Shopping offering of 30% of its total shares was a simultaneous IPO, with common shares listed on the stock market division of the Korea Exchange and GDRs offered in London. A tranche of global depositary shares was placed in Japan under a public offering without listing—or POWL—facility.

Lotte, which opened its first store in 1979, operates discount stores as well as department stores. It also runs a chain of supermarkets, multiplex movie theaters and a credit card business. The company says that by operating its 109 stores in a variety of formats, it is able to capture shifts in economic conditions and spending patterns of its customers.
The company’s market capitalization on the Seoul stock exchange gave it a ranking of 11th place, creating an instant blue-chip issue and pushing LG Electronics down to the 12th position in terms of stock market value. It is a member of the Lotte Group, with operations in the South Korean chemical and construction industries. Lotte plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to expand its discount-store business. It declined to comment, however, on reports that it could purchase the local operations of France-based Carrefour.

Gordon Platt