Japan’s H2O Nearing Deal to Buy Kansai Super Controlling Stake
(Bloomberg) -- Japanese department store operator H2O Retailing Corp. said Tuesday it will increase its stake in grocery store owner Kansai Super Market Ltd. and make it a subsidiary.
H2O said in a statement that it will buy newly-issued and existing shares from Kansai Super Market until it owns a 58% stake in the company, which will remain listed. H2O plans on integrating the supermarket operator into its own grocery business. Bloomberg News had reported details of the deal on Monday.
The two companies entered discussions after Kansai Super rejected an offer in June from OK Corporation, which operates discount supermarkets in the Tokyo region, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg earlier. There was still a potential that OK, which also owns a 7.2% stake in the company, may launch another bid for Kansai Super, they said
A spokesman for OK Corporation told Bloomberg Monday that the company has made takeover bids in the past, but not this year.
Shares of Kansai Super rose as much as 23%, the biggest jump in nearly five years, in Tokyo trading on Tuesday. The company had a market value of about 42 billion yen ($384 million) as of the close of trading on Monday.
H2O currently holds a 10% stake in Kansai Super and is its largest shareholder. H2O is best known for its department stores around Osaka, Japan’s second largest metropolitan region, though it also has a supermarket business that could be complemented by Kansai Super’s strength in sales of fresh foods and daily necessities.
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