South Korea’s Hotel Lotte delays start of overseas IPO roadshow

By Joyce Lee and Fiona Lau

SEOUL/HONG KONG (Reuters) – The starting date for an overseas investor roadshow for Hotel Lotte Co Ltd’s [HTLOT.UL] proposed $4.8 billion initial public offering has been “adjusted”, a spokesman for South Korea’s Lotte Group said on Saturday, without giving a reason.

The IPO would be the world’s largest this year.

On Friday, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, reported that Hotel Lotte had postponed investor meetings due to begin on Monday for its jumbo IPO, citing sources close to the deal. Two of the sources said the company needed to make an additional filing before bookbuilding could begin, IFR reported.

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Lotte Group spokesman Song No-hyun said a decision had not yet been made on a listing date, but gave no further details.

People familiar with the deal said the delay was caused by a need to disclose a bribery investigation that emerged in recent days.

Prosecutors raided the offices of Hotel Lotte’s duty free operation on Thursday over allegations it received bribes from the head of South Korean cosmetics brand Nature Republic in exchange for store space, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported, citing the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ office.

Prosecutors also raided the home of Shin Young-ja, daughter of the Lotte Group’s founder and head of the Lotte Foundation. Both Shin and Hotel Lotte have denied the allegations, Yonhap said.

Spokesman Song said overseas investor meetings had been due to start next week, but did not specify on which day they had been set to begin.

Last month, the company said bookbuilding would take place on June 15-16, subscriptions on June 21-22, and listing on the Korea stock exchange during June.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee in SEOUL and Fiona Lau in HONG KONG; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Tom Hogue)



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