(ECNS) - South Korean retail giant Lotte Mart has sold its 72 supermarket stores and 15 properties for 1.665 billion yuan ($2.62 billion) to regional retailer Liqun Group from east China's Shandong Province, according to China.com.cn.
Lotte Shopping Holding (Hong Kong) Co. sold 100 percent of its stake in its Chinese unit that operates Lotte Mart in Shanghai and nearby areas to Liqun Group in the deal.
Through the acquisitions, the Chinese retailer will enter the market in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, and boost its market share in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces as well.
Xu Gongzao, president of Liqun Group, said it has long been the group's plan to expand its business nationwide.
Liqun Group owns more than 40 stores and has an annual revenue of 10 billion yuan. Analysts said the deal may help Liqun expand its business in first-tier cities but the overall slowdown in supermarket sector growth also poses huge challenges.
Lotte entered China by acquiring Beijing-area cash and carry wholesaler CTA Makro in 2008. It agreed to sell 21 of 120 stores in China to Wumart in April and now still owns 14 outlets in central and eastern China.