Struggling retail giant Daiei Inc. and its four main creditor banks plan to seek support from the state-backed Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan for Daiei’s so-called Fukuoka business, sources said Monday.
The Fukuoka business comprises the Fukuoka Dome baseball stadium, the adjacent Sea Hawk Hotel and Resort, and the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks professional baseball franchise.
Daiei has three potential U.S. buyers of the ballpark and hotel operations — Ripplewood Holdings LLC, Colony Capital LLC and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. — while it wants to keep the baseball club.
As the Fukuoka business involves over 40 creditors, Daiei intends to have the IRCJ purchase claims from creditors other than the four banks to facilitate the sale of the ballpark and hotel, the sources said.
The IRCJ, which began operations in May, buys claims on loans to troubled but viable companies from creditors other than their main bank and revives the firms in cooperation with the bank.
Despite Daiei’s intention, the sale of the ballpark and hotel operations may go more smoothly if the baseball club is added. Daiei and the four creditor banks, led by UFJ Bank, are therefore discussing the issue by taking local sentiment into account.
The IRCJ is expected to accept a request for support. In such a case, Daiei is likely to finalize a plan to sell the Fukuoka business — with debts totaling some 120 billion yen — in October.
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