Lotte Said to Shelve $500 Million Malaysia Petrochemical IPO

Lotte Group, South Korea’s fifth-largest family-run conglomerate, has shelved plans to list its Malaysian petrochemicals business amid widening investigations at the parent, people familiar with the matter said.

The group will postpone the planned share sale of Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Sdn. until after the probes are resolved, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Lotte Chemical Titan, an arm of Seoul-traded Lotte Chemical Corp., was exploring a Kuala Lumpur IPO as soon as the second half of this year that could have raised more than $500 million, people familiar with the matter said in January.

Lotte Group earlier this week scrapped a potential $4.5 billion share sale for its lodging and duty free business, which was set to be the world’s biggest IPO this year. It warned Tuesday that more deals are under threat of collapsing because of widening investigations into alleged slush funds and embezzlement at the business empire.

On Tuesday, Lotte Chairman Shin Dong Bin apologized for the situation and said he hopes for a speedy conclusion to the investigations. 

An IPO of Hotel Lotte Co. would have given momentum to other Lotte Group affiliates including Lotte Data Communication Co., Korea Seven Co. and Lotteria Co. to list their shares, the Korean stock exchange said in January. The group had planned to announce further details on the Malaysian chemical IPO this week, one of the people said. 

Lotte Group can’t comment, as issues related to the Lotte Chemical Titan IPO haven’t been confirmed, the conglomerate said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Plastics produced by Lotte Chemical Titan include polyethylene, used in shopping bags and toys, as well as polypropylene, which can be found in battery casings and car parts. The company also makes olefins that are part of the manufacturing process for rubbers and detergents.

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