MBK offers to buy Japan’s Accordia Golf for $760 million: Reuters

Seoul-based private equity firm MBK Partners said on Tuesday it would acquire Japanese golf course operator Accordia Golf Co (2131.T) for about $760 million.

The news of MBK’s interest in Accordia emerged first in July, but a month later the deal – initially thought to be worth about $1.5 billion – was scrapped as the value of the Japanese golf course operator surged.

MBK has now said it will launch a tender offer to buy all shares in Accordia at 1,210 yen ($10.78) each, or a 16.9 percent premium to the latter’s closing price on Tuesday.

The major shareholders group – investment fund Reno that has 9.93 percent in Accordia, Aya Nomura who has 9.87 percent and Office Support Corporation that has 2.98 percent – have agreed to sell their stakes, MBK said in a statement.

Aya is the daughter of Yoshiaki Murakami, while Reno and Office Support also have links to the activist investor.

MBK said by taking Accordia private, it can focus resources on longer-term projects such as the acquisition of golf courses at home and overseas and attract tourists even when the overall golf playing population in Japan is shrinking.

Accordia currently runs 135 golf courses, or about 5 percent of the total in Japan.

MBK said the deal would be worth 85.3 billion yen ($760 million) for a 100 percent stake, but the amount would be 103.7 billion yen if all stock options are exercised.

Accordia Golf said its management endorses MBK’s bid.

Accordia was set up by Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) after it bought golf course businesses in Japan that went bankrupt after the country’s sharp economic downturn in the early 1990s.

Goldman took the company public in 2006, selling its last holding in Accordia in 2011.