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Bid to buy theme park for US$1.1b

GOLDMAN Sachs Group and partner investors are offering 111.2 billion yen (US$1.1 billion) to take over the Universal Studios Japan theme park, the United States financial company said yesterday.

The bid at 50,000 yen a share, which starts on Monday, for up to whole ownership of USJ Co, the park's operator, is 28 percent higher than the closing price on Tuesday in Tokyo, USJ and Goldman said.

Tokyo's so-called Mothers stock market for new firms was flooded with buy orders for USJ shares, which were untraded yesterday. It closed at 40,700 yen on Wednesday.

After the transaction is completed, Goldman Sachs will own 61 percent of Universal Studios, up from 41 percent now, it said. Its partners are hoping to control the balance. USJ said in a statement that it supports Goldman's tender offer.

The park opened in 2001 in Osaka.


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