Cerberus to sell stake in Japan's Kokusai Kogyo for $1.25-$1.34 bln-sources

TOKYO Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:15pm EST

TOKYO Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP has decided to sell its entire majority stake in Japanese property operator Kokusai Kogyo Co to its founding family for 130-140 billion yen ($1.25-1.34 billion), people with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Kokusai Kogyo is 55 percent owned by Cerberus and 45 percent by the founding family. The U.S. company has agreed in principle to sell all of its stake, said the sources, who were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

The agreed price reflects Kokusai Kogyo's sale last December of a property in central Tokyo to a consortium led by Nippon Life Insurance Co, Japan's biggest private-sector life insurer, for about 80 billion yen, the sources said. The property's sale has not previously been reported.

Cerberus was not immediately available for comment. Kokusai Kogyo said no one was immediately available to comment.

Cerberus' exit from Kokusai Kogyo, in which it invested in 2004, comes on the heels of a decision this week by Japanese railway operator Seibu Holdings Inc to apply for relisting on the Tokyo bourse as it negotiates a proposed sale of its stake by top shareholder Cerberus.

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