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Business

Japanese retail giants eye supermarket chain Seijo Ishii

TOKYO -- Lawson and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings have signaled their interest in purchasing an operator of high-end supermarkets from an investment fund affiliated with trading house Mitsubishi Corp.

     Marunouchi Capital bought Seijo Ishii in 2011 from Rex Holdings, now Reins International. It is seen aiming to sell the company for around 50 billion yen ($485 million) after apparently having paid more than 40 billion yen for the purchase.

     The fund sounded out potential buyers in writing, asking them to respond by Monday. Marunouchi Capital is expected to conduct formal bidding later and settle on a purchaser as soon as autumn. Aeon has apparently expressed interest, too.

     Seijo Ishii operates 110 or so stores in greater Tokyo as well as western and central Japan. It turned a 3.1 billion yen operating profit in 2012 on sales of 51.8 billion yen. The company plans to open as many as 15 new stores this year.

(Nikkei)

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