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Advantage Partners Sells Stake in Daiei to Deutsche Bank

TOKYO (Reuters) – Private equity firm Advantage Partners has sold its 11.7 percent stake in terms of voting rights in struggling Japanese retailer Daiei Inc (8263.T) to a unit of Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Daiei said on Tuesday.

Daiei said in a statement that Deutsche Securities Inc, the Japanese investment banking arm of the German bank, had acquired a little more than 23 million shares, worth about 10 billion yen ($106.4 million) based on Monday’s closing price.

Deutsche Securities has already arranged to sell about 4 million of those shares, lowering its stake to 9.7 percent, Daiei said in a second statement.

Deutsche Securities said it planned to hold the stake temporarily for the purposes of client trading. It was not a strategic investment on the part of the German bank, a bank spokesman said.

Advantage Partners took a 23.4 percent stake in Daiei in 2005 as part of a consortium with trading house Marubeni Corp (8002.T) chosen as a financial sponsor by a state-backed turnaround body to restructure the retailer.

Advantage Partners sold half its stake in 2006. Marubeni and its group firms now hold about 29 percent of Daiei, while Aeon Co (8267.T), Japan’s second-largest retailing group, holds roughly 19 percent.

Daiei posted an operating loss of 1.16 billion yen for the financial year that ended in February as sales slumped 6 percent to 976.8 billion yen due to a weak economy and tough price competition. (Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Hugh Lawson)