SEOUL, May 4 (Reuters) - Private equity-controlled South Korean hypermarket chain Homeplus Co Ltd is considering establishing a real estate investment trust (REIT) and listing it this year, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
The REIT being considered could acquire around 40 Homeplus hypermarkets in South Korea, the sources said, declining to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to media.
The appraised real estate value of the hypermarkets under consideration was estimated around 4 trillion won, and the total listing size could exceed 2 trillion won ($1.86 billion), South Korean newspaper Korea Economic Daily reported on Thursday citing unnamed investment banking sources.
Homeplus, South Korea’s second-largest hypermarket chain with 142 stores, declined comment.
Private equity firm MBK Partners bought Homeplus from Tesco PLC for $6.1 billion in 2015.
South Korea’s REITs listings are worth only a fraction of other countries’, with only three REITs listed on the benchmark KOSPI as of Friday, according to the Korea Exchange website.
Among them, the biggest has a market capitalisation of 42.3 billion won ($39.3 million) as of Friday. ($1 = 1,076.4000 won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee Editing by Jacqueline Wong)