PE Shops Cerberus, TPG Are Among 5 Finalist To Bid For Takefuji – Reuters

Five companies have made it to the final round to submit proposals for Takefuji Corp., Reuters reported. Four sources with direct knowledge of the deal said Cerberus Capital Management , TPG, Tokyo Star Bank, J Trust Co. and Korea’s A&P Financial are the finalist for Takefuji. Takefuji is a Japanese consumer lender that filed for bankruptcy in September.

(Reuters) – Cerberus Capital Management [CBS.UL], TPG [TPG.UL], Tokyo Star Bank, J Trust Co (8508.OS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Korea’s A&P Financial have advanced to the final round of bidding for failed Japanese consumer lender Takefuji, four sources with direct knowledge of the deal said.

The five suitors will submit offers for Japan’s No. 4 consumer finance lender in a second and final round of bidding at the end of February, the sources told Reuters on condition they weren’t identified.

Buyout firms Fortress (FIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Lone Star [LS.UL] and Elliott Management were among those eliminated in a first round of bidding last month, the sources added. [ID:nTOE6B805Y]

Bidders are planning to offer between 60 and 80 billion yen for the lender, sources said.

Takefuji failed in September owing 433 billion yen ($5.20 billion), its profitability squeezed by a government cap on lending rates and a 2006 court ruling forcing it and other consumer lelders to repay overcharged interest. [ID:nTOE68Q083]

Luring the five potential buyers is the chance to grab Takefuji’s asset portfolio at a discount and the opportunity to swiftly enter or expand unsecured lending to individuals and small businesses in Japan through Takefuji’s existing customer base, the sources said.

By Junko Fujita

(Editing by Tim Kelly and Nathan Layne)