Mitsubishi Corp to launch offer for majority stake in Lawson

Slideshow ( 3 images )

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp 8058.T will launch a tender offer to buy a majority stake in convenience operator Lawson Inc 2651.T for about 144 billion yen ($1.4 billion), the companies said on Friday.

Mitsubishi will offer 8,650 yen per Lawson share to raise its stake to 50.1 percent from 33.47 percent now. It aims to launch the offer in January pending regulatory approvals. Lawson will remain listed following the deal, the companies said.

The price represents a 17 percent premium to Lawson’s closing price on Wednesday. The stock rose 7 percent on Thursday on media reports of the deal, which is expected to boost Lawson’s competitiveness via Mitsubishi’s vast food processing and distribution businesses.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates