Korean conglomerate Lotte will pay £1.7 billion for stake in Samsung’s chemicals businesses

Samsung has agreed to sell large parts of its main chemicals businesses to fellow South Korean conglomerate Lotte in a deal worth a total of KRW3 trillion (£1.7 billion).

Lotte Chemical will buy a 31.5% stake in Samsung Fine Chemicals, which includes a 49% stake in joint venture Samsung BP Chemicals, along with a 90% stake in the chemicals division of Samsung SDI, which specialises in lithium ion batteries and renewable energy technology.

The move will allow Lotte to boost its chemicals business, expanding into speciality chemicals as well as common plastics. The company said in a statement that revenues would increase by more than 30%, although share prices dipped 14% immediately following the announcement as some analysts speculated they had overpaid.

Samsung said they would use the proceeds from the deal to invest in new businesses and ‘strengthen the company’s core competencies’. It has announced the sale of various assets over the past year, including chemicals and defence units, in order to streamline the business ahead of its anticipated transfer from current chief Lee Kun-hee – who is recovering from a heart attack – to his son Lee Jae-yong.