TOKYO Aug 14 Japanese property developer Mori
Trust Co is in final talks to buy a complex of buildings in
Tokyo from U.S. buyout firm Lone Star for more than 100 billion
yen (about $1 billion), five people with knowledge of the matter
The deal, which could close as early as next week, came
about after Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd
backed out earlier this year due to a legal dispute over the
ownership of the property, the Meguro Gajoen complex.
A Mori Trust spokesman declined to comment. Lone Star
officials could not immediately be reached.
Proceeds from the sale will help Lone Star to repay the
roughly 85 billion yen it owes a group of lenders in connection
with the property, the sources said.
The property in west-central Tokyo includes two office
buildings and houses the headquarters of Amazon.com Inc's
Japan operations. It also includes a lavish wedding
hall that was built in the 1930s as a restaurant and bathhouse.
The Singapore fund had won the right to negotiate to buy
Meguro Gajoen for about 134 billion yen, but changed tack over
the dispute, according to sources with direct knowledge of the
matter. That lawsuit continues in Tokyo District Court.
Lone Star gained control of most of the complex in 2002 by
buying at a discount debt owed by the founding family of Meguro
Gajoen from a group of lenders, and has attempted to sell the
property several times since 2006.
(1 US dollar = 102.4300 Japanese yen)
(Editing by William Mallard and Edmund Klamann)