H.I.S. Bids to Boost Stake in Unizo

Economy

Tokyo, July 10 (Jiji Press)--Major travel agency H.I.S. Co. <9603> said Wednesday that it will buy shares of Unizo Holdings Co. <3258> to boost its stake in the hotel chain operator to up to 45 pct from the current 4.79 pct.

The tender offer by H.I.S., which is eager to partner with Unizo mainly in hotel business, could turn out to be a hostile bid, as Unizo has refused to hold partnership talks with H.I.S.

H.I.S. plans to spend up to 42.7 billion yen to buy Unizo shares for 3,100 yen apiece between Thursday and Aug. 23. On the Tokyo Stock Exchange Wednesday, Unizo shares jumped 20.1 pct to 2,390 yen.

"We have decided to launch the tender offer, hoping to deepen our collaborative relationship (with Unizo) to strengthen hotel operations," H.I.S. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hideo Sawada said at a press conference.

"We don't think it's a hostile bid," Sawada stressed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press