[Source : LCPL Facebook]
South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. has been straining every nerve to see through the sale of a unit in Pakistan as it needs urgent funds to complete near $2 billion M&A on top of sustaining liquidity-battered building affiliate.
According to investment banking sources on Thursday, Lotte Chemical has been on its toes to receive a go-head to divest Lotte Chemical Pakistan Ltd. (LCPL) from the Pakistani government and local regulatory authorities.
The procedures have been delayed as the Pakistani authorities have been wary of capital outflow while battling with the Pakistani rupee tumbling to an all-time low versus the U.S. dollar.
Lotte Chemical has been engaged in talks with Pakistani petrochemical company Novatex Ltd. to sell its entire 75 percent stake in LCPL. Novatex submitted its proposal for the acquisition in July.
The Korean company acquired LCPL from Netherlands-based paint company AkzoNobel for 14.7 billion won ($11.05 million) in 2009. LCPL is a world-class supplier of purified terephthalic acid, an essential raw material used in the polyester industry. Lotte Chemical decided on the divestiture to focus more on green, high-profitable specialty businesses for management efficiency.
After the official announcement of the sale, LCPL shares jumped nearly 20 percent to 25 Pakistani rupees ($0.11) apiece from 25 rupees in July with an increase in its market cap to 46.3 billion rupees. Considering the management premium, the sale price is estimated to go beyond 200 billion won, more than 13 times the original acquisition price.
Lotte Chemical is in greater pressure to come up with own funds to complete the purchase of the world’s fourth-largest copper foil manufacturer Iljin Materials that it had offered at 2.7 trillion won. Fund-raising has become difficult as it has been sustaining Lotte E&C survive liquidity crisis from project financing debacle.
The chemical company plans to issue 1 trillion won worth new shares for the acquisition. Credit rating agencies have revised down ratings outlook for Lotte affiliated units.
Lotte Chemical shares were trading 1.69 percent lower at 175,000 won in Friday morning session.
By Cho Yoon-hee, Kang Doo-soon and Lee Ha-yeon
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