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Seibu Holdings gets ready to file for TSE listing

JIJI

Major railway and hotel business group Seibu Holdings Inc. will soon file for listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to sources.

U.S. investment fund Cerberus, the top shareholder of the company that owns Seibu Railway Co. and Prince Hotels Inc. as core units, is ready to go along with the move, the sources said Tuesday.

Details, including the offering price for shares, will be fixed later, they said, adding the listing will come this spring at the earliest.

Seibu Railway was delisted from the TSE in December 2004 after it was found to have falsified financial statements.

A Seibu Holdings official said the re-listing is one of the company’s most important management goals, but added it remains to be seen when the listing will come.

The Seibu side and Cerberus agreed on a capital alliance in 2005. They both saw the need for an early stock listing for the Seibu group.

However, they started to lock horns around 2012 over the Seibu Holdings group’s medium- to long-term business strategy, which would be a basis for calculating the group’s corporate value.

In particular, Seibu Holdings strongly opposed Cerberus’ proposals for the group to scrap money losing train lines and sell the Saitama Seibu Lions baseball team.

To increase its influence on the management of the Seibu Holdings group, Cerberus launched a tender offer for shares in the holding company last March, aiming to raise its ownership to as much as 44.67 percent from some 32 percent. The tender ended in failure as the fund was able to raise its stake only to 35.48 percent.

At the Seibu Holdings annual general shareholders’ meeting last June, Cerberus proposed that former Financial Services Agency Commissioner Hirofumi Gomi and seven other people be placed on the board. The proposal was rejected in the face of opposition from many other shareholders.