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Business

Bain to buy Japanese bathhouse operator

TOKYO -- U.S. private-equity firm Bain Capital will acquire a company running more than two dozen resort hotels and bathhouses in Japan, betting on its ability to profit from a rising tide of foreigners visiting the country.

     Bain will pay around 50 billion yen ($419 million), including debt, for Oedo-Onsen Holdings, people familiar with the matter told The Nikkei on Thursday.

     Its properties include the samurai-era-inspired Oedo-Onsen Monogatari complex in Tokyo's Odaiba, a popular tourist destination.

     Bain will buy all of the company's stock from President Hiroshi Hashimoto and his family. Hashimoto, who also serves as senior adviser to circuit board manufacturer Kyoden, built the Oedo-Onsen group of both walk-in bathhouses in Tokyo and Osaka as well as hotels in such famous hot-spring resorts as Nikko. He will withdraw from the group's management after the sale.

     Oedo-Onsen Holdings' revenue is expected to grow 10% to 35.3 billion yen in the year ending Feb. 28. Bain sees opportunities to expand the group to Kyushu and other parts of Japan and will be on the lookout for hot-spring hotels willing to sell.

     The private-equity firm manages some $75 billion in assets worldwide. In Japan, it acquired struggling family restaurant operator Skylark in 2011 and took it public again last year.

(Nikkei)

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