• Kyodo News


Aozora Bank will go public Nov. 14 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, eight years after its predecessor, Nippon Credit Bank, was delisted.

The TSE approved the initial public offering on Friday, saying an offering price and other details will be decided Oct. 25.

The bank is expected to be listed on the TSE’s first section.

It is expected to be Japan’s biggest listing this year.

Aozora Bank will be offering about 615.8 million shares with an estimated value of about 360 billion yen, topping the IPO by Nomura Real Estate Holdings Inc. earlier this month that offered 47 million shares worth about 164.50 billion yen.

The flotation is also likely to eclipse the 250 billion yen offering in 2004 by Shinsei Bank, which relisted itself after being reborn from the ashes of the failed Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan.

Major shareholders U.S. investment fund Cerberus Group, general leasing company Orix Corp. and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. will each release a third of their holdings at the IPO. If the IPO proves popular, up to another 50 million shares will be offered to the public.

The government is also to sell some of its Aozora Bank preferred shares, which it obtained in return for a public fund injection, by transferring them to common shares for an estimated 140 billion yen.

The sale would mark the start of Aozora Bank’s repayment of public funds.

The once-nationalized Nippon Credit Bank was delisted from the exchange in December 1998. It was sold to a group of firms in June 2000 and was renamed Aozora Bank.

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