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Business deals

Blackstone sweetens bid to buy Unizo to 5,600 yen per share

 (Blackstone photo from AP)

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Blackstone Group on Tuesday sweetened its proposed offer to buy Unizo Holdings to 5,600 yen a share, challenging a bid by Lone Star, whose 5,100 yen offer was supported by the Japanese hotel chain, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Blackstone's revised offer from 5,000 yen comes ahead of the Feb. 4 deadline for the public tender offer launched by Dallas-based buyout fund Lone Star.

Unizo in July became a target for a hostile bid by a Japanese travel agent H.I.S. Co. Unizo at one stage turned to U.S. buyout firm Fortress Investment Group to fend off the bid. But later it withdrew its support for Fortress' offer.

Blackstone in October emerged as another bidder to buy Unizo and warned the company it would launch a tender offer if the company fails to agree with conditions set by Blackstone.

Unizo in December said it would end talks with Blackstone. 

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