Lawson, Isetan bidding for Seijo Ishii, deal could total $490 mln-sources

TOKYO, April 18 Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:04am EDT

TOKYO, April 18 (Reuters) - Japanese investment fund Marunouchi Capital is looking to sell supermarket operator Seijo Ishii Co in a deal worth about $490 million, with Lawson Inc and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd among those involved in the first round of bidding, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Marunouchi Capital, owned by Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, is hoping to fetch about 50 billion yen ($490 million) including debt, the sources said, declining to be identified because the deal is not public.

Marunouchi Capital bought Seijo Ishii, which specialises in imported and upmarket goods, from restaurant franchiser Rex Holdings in May 2011 for about 42 billion yen, sources have said.

An initial public offering of shares remains a possibility if Marunouchi Capital is not satisfied with the bids, one of the sources said. A final decision on a buyer could come as early as autumn, the source said.

Marunouchi Capital, Lawson and Isetan Mitsukoshi declined to comment. ($1 = 102.2650 Japanese Yen) (Additional reporting by Junko Fujita in Tokyo; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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