Cerberus plans to sell $2.5 billion stake in Japan's Aozora Bank

TOKYO Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:02am EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management LP CBS.UL plans to sell its entire 55 percent stake in Japan's Aozora Bank Ltd (8304.T), the lender said on Thursday, sending its shares down as much as 13 percent.

Cerberus intends to sell part of the 821 million Aozora shares it owns in a share buyback plan that the lender is launching. The remaining shares may be sold in the market or through a private transaction as early as this year, Aozora said.

At current market prices, the sale of the stake could fetch $2.5 billion.

Aozora shares fell to as low as 222 yen on Thursday morning before erasing some of the losses to be down 9 percent at 232 yen.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

(This story was corrected to chnage stake in first paragraph to 55 percent from 42 percent)

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