Cerberus, Fortress Group, Lone Star to Bid on Takefuji

Buyout shops Cerberus Capital Management, Lone Star and Fortress Group are among the firms planning to bid on Japanese consumer lender Takefuji Corp., Reuters reported. The deal is valued at more than 60 billion yen ($716 million), Reuters said, adding that the first round of bidding will close on December 15. Takefuji filed for bankruptcy in September, owing 433 billion yen.

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firms Cerberus Capital Management [CBS.UL], Lone Star [LS.UL] and Fortress Group are among companies that plan to bid for Japan’s failed consumer lender Takefuji Corp, three people with direct knowledge of the deal said.

The first round of bidding, in which firms are required to give the size of their offer and their plans for the restructuring of Takefuji, will close on Dec. 15, said the sources, asking not to be named because the process is not public.

Bidders are looking at a price of of 60 billion yen ($716 million) to 80 billion yen, they said.

Distressed asset investors, such as Lone Star and Cerberus, bought a string of Japanese assets in the 1990s amid Japan’s worst recession.

J.C. Flowers & Co, the top shareholder of Shinsei Bank , and Elliott Management, which operates a loan servicing business in Japan, may also submit bids, one of the people said.

Takefuji filed for bankruptcy in September, owing 433 billion yen, becoming Japan’s largest consumer lender to fail since a court ruling in 2006 forced the industry to repay borrowers for excessive interest charges.

Takefuji’s debt, mostly held by debt investors, is expected to be significantly forgiven, the people said.

Shinsei Bank is acting as an adviser on the sale. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Joseph Radford)