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Lotte Rental accelerates Kospi debut in H2

An exterior view of Lotte Rent-a-Car's Jeju Auto House (Lotte Rental)
An exterior view of Lotte Rent-a-Car's Jeju Auto House (Lotte Rental)
Lotte Rental, the car rental service unit under Lotte Group, is moving for aninitial public offering on South Korea’s main bourse Kospi in the second half of this year, according to investment banking sources Tuesday.

The company submitted a preliminary application for an IPO to the Korea Exchange the day before to become the first Lotte-affiliated company to make a market debut in nearly three years. The group’s last IPO was Lotte Data Communication’s Kospi-listing in November 2017.

Car rental services make up most of the company’s business, but it also rents out household items, office machines and various other equipment.

The sources said Lotte Rental planned to utilize the sole bourse operator’s fast-track scheme, which allows blue-chip firms to shorten the qualification examination period from 45 working days to 20 working days. The Lotte subsidiary is expected to go public as early as September, they forecast.

The IPO is expected to be one of this year’s largest market debuts. Based on its business performance so far, market watchers value the firm at around 2 trillion won to 3 trillion won ($1.8 billion-$2.7 billion).

While NH Investment & Securities and Korea Investment & Securities are underwriting the IPO deal, the size of the offering and the target price band per share have not been decided yet. But it aims to enter the stock market within this year, a Lotte Rental official said.

Lotte Rental -- formerly KT Rental -- was founded in 2005. Ten years later, Lotte Group took over the firm from the telecom giant KT. Its largest shareholder is Lotte Hotel with a majority stake of 47.06 percent.

With a long-term car rental service as its major business under the brand name “Lotte Rent-a-Car,” the firm has grown at a steady pace. Last year, its sales rose 10.8 percent on-year to 2.1 trillion won, while the operating profit soared 36 percent on-year to 149.7 billion won, the company said.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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