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Lotte Says More Deals Are in Jeopardy as Probe Fallout Spreads

By Publications Checkout

Lotte Group, which earlier this week scrapped what may have been the world’s biggest initial public offering, said more of its deals are under threat as the fallout spreads from widening investigations into the South Korean conglomerate.

The probes have disrupted business activities, while negotiations with companies in North America and Europe have been halted or delayed indefinitely, the group said in a statement. For example, its Hotel Lotte Co. unit was in discussions with as many as five companies from Europe, the U.S. and Australia but such large investments are now difficult to make in light of the probes and the shelved IPO, it said.

The group, still reeling from a feud that tore its founding family apart last year, sank into deeper turmoil on Friday as Korean prosecutors widened their probes into the business empire amid allegations of slush funds and embezzlement. The probes led its hotel unit to end a potential $4.5 billion IPO while its chemicals arm withdrew plans to buy Axiall Corp.

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