Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. has offered a specific price to Softbank Corp. to acquire its 48.8 percent equity stake in Aozora Bank, sources familiar with the deal said Saturday.
The exact price is not known but is estimated at around 100 billion yen, they said.
Sumitomo Mitsui and U.S. investment firm Cerberus Group, another potential buyer of the Aozora Bank stake, assessed the quality of the bank’s loans and other assets for three weeks starting in early February.
Sumitomo Mitsui apparently calculated the bidding price by taking into account the results of the assessment as well as indicators showing Aozora Bank’s creditworthiness and comparison of its stock prices with those of other banks.
The Aozora Bank shares owned by Softbank are valued at about 49 billion yen on the Internet business investor’s books.
Cerberus, a major shareholder of Aozora with a 12 percent equity stake, is supposed to offer its bidding price within 30 operating days. The U.S. company would have preferential rights to negotiate the deal with Softbank unless its bidding price is below that given by Sumitomo Mitsui.
“This makes it most likely that Cerberus will offer the same price as Sumitomo Mitsui,” an industry observer said.
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