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[SEOUL] South Korea's Lotte Group has submitted the highest offer for South Korea's largest car rental company, KT Rental Corp, in a bid worth about 900 billion won (S$1.1 billion), the Korea Economic Daily reported on Tuesday.
Lotte Group, which includes affiliate Lotte Shopping Co Ltd, submitted the top offer in the latest round of bidding on Monday, the newspaper said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
Lotte Group's price was ahead of competitors like Hankook Tire Co Ltd and private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners. Another interested party, SK Networks Co Ltd, did not submit a fresh bid on Monday after an earlier round of bidding in January, an SK spokesman said.
A Lotte spokesman confirmed the group had participated in Monday's round of bids but declined to give details. A spokesman for KT Corp, parent of KT Rental, declined comment.
The deal had been expected to fetch about 600-800 billion won, but prices went up to about 900 billion won through continued negotiations, two people with knowledge of the deal's progress previously told Reuters.
The people declined to be identified as the deal process was confidential.
Lotte Group, whose affiliate Lotte Shopping is South Korea's biggest department store operator, has a history of M&A both in South Korea and overseas including buying the country's largest electronic retailer Hi-Mart in 2012 for US$1.1 billion.
KT Corp, South Korea's second-largest telecom company, put KT Rental up for sale in June.