ING buys three Korean hypermarkets

The firm has purchased three locations of the well-known Lotte hypermarket chain in a sale and leaseback deal.

ING Real Estate, the property investment arm of Dutch bank ING, has purchased three hypermarket stores in South Korea from Lotte Shopping Company for an undisclosed price, the company said Tuesday.

The stores were purchased through its $800 million (€544 million) ING Korea Property Investments, a Korea-focused real estate fund set up in 2005 by ING Real Estate Investment Management Asia. They are located in Jeju, Incheon and Daejeon.

Lotte is one of the largest retailers in the department store and hypermarket industry in Korea. Established in 1970, it operates under the brands Lotte Department Store, Lotte Mart, and Lotte Super Market. It was dual-listed on KOSPI and London Stock Exchange in 2006. The stores will be master-leased by Lotte Mart for over 14 years on a triple-net basis.

The Jeju Property is a six storey retail building with two underground floors with gross leasable area of 34,104 square meters, including an eight storey parking tower that accommodates 209 cars. The Incheon Property is a six storey retail building with one basement floor with gross floor area of 49,816 square meters. The Daejeon Property is a five story building with one underground floor with gross floor area of 56,429 square meters.

Robert Lie, chief executive officer of ING Real Estate Investment Management Asia and Representative Director of ING KPI, said he expects the hypermarts to have “excellent growth prospects benefiting from the burgeoning retail markets in Jeju, Incheon, and Daejeon, as well as potential land value appreciation.”

Other properties in ING KPI’s portfolio include the ING Tower office building in Gangnam, the Samsung Card Building in the central business district of Seoul and the Fraser Suites serviced apartment building in the Insa-dong district.

ING has become increasingly involved in Asia. The firm recently said it is planning a second China property fund at $700 million and a debut $910 million Japan property fund.