South Korean retail conglomerate Lotte, which operates retail channels including duty-free shops, said Wednesday that it has withdrawn its bid to buy an Italian duty-free company.
"Lotte Group has considered acquiring Italian World Duty Free from many different angles, but the WDF has notified us to discontinue the process with Lotte Group, due to simultaneous talks with another company," Lotte Shopping Co., the group's key retail affiliate, said in a filing.
"Therefore, Lotte Group decided to stop pushing for the purchase."
Held by Italy's fashion heavyweight Benetton family, the WDF operates 495 stores in 98 airports.
Swiss duty-free operator Dufry and U.S. buyout firm KKR & Co. have reportedly placed bids in the WDF auction.
Lotte Duty Free is the country's biggest duty-free chain, taking up 52 percent of the local duty-free market in revenues last year.
It had tried to buy the Italian firm in a bid to strengthen its overseas sales and become the second-largest duty-free chain in the world. (Yonhap)