Employees to Start Tender Offer for Hotel Chain Unizo

Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Unizo Holdings Co. <3258> said Sunday that a company jointly set up by its employees and U.S. investment firm Lone Star will launch a tender offer for the Japanese hotel operator on Tuesday.

The Unizo employees and Lone Star are aiming to acquire all outstanding shares in Unizo, listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. If the planned buyout proves successful, Unizo will be delisted. Unizo expressed its support for the tender offer.

It will be the first time for a publicly traded Japanese company to be acquired by its employees, Unizo officials said, citing information from the TSE.

Another U.S. investment fund has bid to acquire Unizo. But they have been at odds over the treatment of Unizo employees.

In the tender offer, the joint company, owned 73 pct by the Unizo employees and 27 pct by Lone Star, will purchase Unizo shares at 5,100 yen apiece. After acquiring more than two-thirds of all Unizo shares in the tender offer, the joint firm will move to buy the rest to make Unizo a fully owned unit. Unizo stock finished at 4,900 yen on the TSE on Friday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press