SAPPORO (Kyodo) Marui Imai Inc., Hokkaido’s biggest department store chain, is poised to name Takashimaya Co. as its rehabilitation sponsor under court-supervised proceedings to revive its business, sources said.

Marui Imai will finalize the selection possibly by week’s end if its main bank, Hokkaido Bank, agrees with the choice, the sources said Saturday.

The selection, once finalized, would mean Takashimaya prevailed over rival Mitsukoshi Isetan Holdings Inc. to come to Marui Imai’s rescue.

Marui Imai favors Takashimaya because the time-honored department store has expressed willingness to allow all of its four major Hokkaido retail outlets to continue operations, they said.

Marui Imai, founded in 1872, has languished under the weight of debt increases and slumping sales. It filed for court protection from creditors under the fast-track Civil Rehabilitation Law on Jan. 29.

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