August 24, 2019 / 3:40 AM / 2 months ago

H.I.S. says abandons bid to increase stake in Unizo

TOKYO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Japanese travel agent H.I.S. Co said on Saturday it is abandoning its quest to increase its stake in Unizo Holdings, leaving SoftBank’s investment firm as the solo bidder for the hotel chain.

H.I.S., which already owns 4.79% in Unizo, last month launched the tender offer to buy about 40% of Unizo shares at 3,100 yen apiece.

H.I.S. said in a statement no shares were tendered to its offer that ran until Friday.

Unizo had rejected H.I.S.’s offer. Instead it backed the bid by Fortress Investment Group, a SoftBank Group-owned asset manager, which offered to buy all the shares in Unizo for 4,000 yen apiece.

The tug-of-war over Unizo has marked a stark departure from most acquisitions in Japan, where takeovers tend to be pre-agreed deals waiting to be rubber-stamped.

Fortress could be pressured by minority shareholders to raise its offer price, market participants had said.

$1 = 106.6200 yen Reporting by Junko Fujita Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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