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South Korea’s food manufacturing conglomerate Daesang Group is to sell its remaining stake in the convenience store chain, Ministop Korea, to its Japanese partner Aeon.
Daesang and Aeon are finalising the terms of the deal, which is estimated at US$80m. Both parties aim to complete the sale within March.
Aeon currently owns 76.06% Ministop Korea, Daesang 20% and Japan’s Mitsubishi the remaining 3.94%. Aeon’s ownership would reach 96.06% after Daesang entirely exits from the convenience store industry.
Daesang formed Ministop Korea with Aeon Group in 1997. It sold 55% stake plus management right to Aeon Group in 2003. Aeon Group had attempted to sell Ministop Korea in 2018. The sale process was suspended in January 2019 due to the disagreement over the sale price with shortlisted contenders including two Korean retail giants Lotte Group and Shinsegae Group.
Ministop is South Korea’s fifth largest convenience store chain, with over 2,500 stores. CU operates 14,903 stores, GS25 14,900, Lotte 10,331 7-Eleven stores and Shinsegae 3,152 Emart24 stores.
Its performance has been deteriorating and suffered large profit decline (down by 23% year-on-year in 2017) due to fierce local competition and heavy royalties paid to Aeon.
Driven by an increase of single-member and two-people households, the number of convenience stores in South Korea has risen sharply in recent years. To curb excessive competition, South Korea’s FTC (Fair Trade Commission) approved a set of voluntary rules in December 2018 to ease saturation and prevent reckless new openings.
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