Hankyu Holdings Inc.’s bid to acquire Hanshin Electric Railway Co. through a public tender offer is expected to be successfully concluded because the Murakami fund, Hanshin’s biggest shareholder, now intends to sell its stake, Hankyu sources said Saturday.

Yoshiaki Murakami, who operates the fund, told Hankyu over the phone, “We will consider selling Hanshin shares so that the tender offer can be successfully concluded,” according to the sources.

“We will take procedures in about one week,” the sources quoted Murakami as saying.

The holding company of railway operator Hankyu Corp. launched the 21-day buyout bid Tuesday with attention focusing on how the Murakami fund would respond.

Hankyu is offering 930 yen per Hanshin share.

Through the tender offer, Hankyu aims to acquire more than 45 percent of Hanshin’s outstanding shares.

The Murakami fund holds a stake of about 47 percent in Hanshin.

With the support from the Murakami fund, it is certain that Hankyu’s tender offer will be successfully concluded before the June 19 deadline.

The fund was previously dissatisfied with the purchase price offered by Hankyu, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Murakami fund is now under investigation into possible insider stock trading, and this may have prompted Murakami to decide to sell the Hanshin shares under the offered terms, the sources said.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, Hanshin ended 10 yen lower from the previous day at 931 yen in the wake of news about the investigation.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.