• Kyodo

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The court-appointed administrator of the failed Seagaia resort group approved on Monday a 56.5 billion yen portion of the 643.6 billion yen in credits being sought in 3,696 cases against the group.

The accepted portion includes taxes the Seagaia group owes to local municipalities.

The Miyazaki District Court is trying to determine the value of Seagaia’s outstanding debts in order to repay the failed semipublic resort group’s creditors. Today’s session was the first in the case.

The court-appointed administrator, Yasumasa Sato, protested about 170 million yen of the claims. But he reserved opinion on about 200.7 billion yen in credits with collateral assets, due to complicated ownership issues and difficulty in determining their value.

Investigations of the remaining 586.9 billion yen, including the credits with collateral assets, have been postponed to a second session to be held on June 18.

The Seagaia resort complex, which features a 43-story hotel, golf courses, a convention hall, zoo and the world’s largest indoor pool, was the venue for last July’s Group of Eight foreign ministers’ meeting.

The Seagaia group, consisting of operator Phoenix Resort Co. and its two affiliates, filed for protection from creditors in February, making it the largest failure of a Japanese semipublic entity.

The resort was jointly formed in 1988 by the Miyazaki prefectural and city governments and private-sector firms.

On May 11, U.S. investment fund Ripplewood Holdings LLC, the owner of Shinsei Bank, said it envisions purchasing the failed operator. Ripplewood said it has been named by Sato as a sponsor of the resort’s rehabilitation.

The U.S. firm and Sato are expected to work together to hammer out a court-mandated rehabilitation plan by July 11, sources familiar with the deal said earlier.

Ripplewood has expressed readiness to invest 30 billion yen in Seagaia, 18 billion yen of which would be used to buy its operations. The rest would be spent on making the resort’s facilities more attractive.

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