• Kyodo News


Daiei Inc. plans to auction off a 31.8 percent stake in its credit card subsidiary OMC Card Inc. in June to raise more than 70 billion yen to help cut its debts, sources said Wednesday.

The struggling retailer will receive preliminary bids this month and narrow down the range of bidders before its final selection of a buyer in June, they said.

Bidders may include Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc.’s credit card affiliate Credit Saison Co. and some foreign investment funds, the sources said.

The 31.8 percent stake in OMC Card amounts to 68 million shares and accounts for some 60 percent of Daiei’s total holdings in OMC Card.

Daiei, which has been reconstructing itself under a capital and business alliance with Aeon Co., had 220 billion yen in interest-bearing debts at the end of February, failing to reduce them to a targeted 150 billion yen.

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