Thursday, September 07, 2006

Japan's Daiei mulling selling real estate assets - MarketWatch

MarketWatch September 4, 2006

Daiei Inc. (8263.TO) said Monday that it's considering selling real estate assets as part of efforts to further improve its financial health.

In addition to 14 directly operated stores, Daiei will sell 17 affiliated supermarket outlets, two branches of subsidiary Opa Co., three food-processing facilities and three distribution centres.

A spokesman at Daiei said the Japanese retailer is mulling selling real estate assets, and 85 of the stores it owns are among subject to the sale. 'We've been going ahead with sales of real estate assets but nothing has been decided,' he said.
The comment came after the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said in its Saturday morning edition that Daiei will sell 39 properties, including core branches, in a move that is expected to raise Y80 billion to Y100 billion ($675 to $845 million). The paper said Daiei will lease back these stores and continue their operations.

A cutback in liabilities through the asset sales could help bolster the position of Daiei's biggest shareholder, Marubeni Corp. (8002.TO), which reportedly will enter talks with Aeon Co. (8267.TO) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to sell a part of its stake in Daiei. Marubeni said last week it's open to strategic partners in operating Daiei and would consider any potential proposals from companies interested in investing in the retailer. Sphere: Related Content

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