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Lawson faces privatization bid from KDDI

A customer exits a Lawson Inc. convenience store in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020.

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Shares of Japan’s third-largest convenience store chain Lawson surged 18% it received an offer to go private.

The offer would see conglomerate Mitsubishi and mobile carrier KDDI jointly manage the convenience store chain, with each owning a 50% stake.

KDDI plans to purchase shares at 10,360 yen ($70.07) each from other shareholders in April, with the process expected to be completed around September.

This represents a 16% premium to Lawson’s closing share price of 8,913 yen on Tuesday, valuing the offer at about 500 billion yen ($3.4 billion).

KDDI currently owns a 2.11% stake in Lawson, while Mitsubishi owns 50.11%.

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Mitsubishi said in a press release that Lawson’s stock will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the deal is completed.

Kyodo News reported that KDDI intends to leverage Lawson’s approximately 14,600 stores nationwide to promote its banking and insurance products, while also providing smartphone support services remotely at the stores.

Separately, KDDI will also offer Lawson’s products and services at 2,200 of its mobile phone outlets nationwide.

In turn, Kyodo also added that Lawson will implement KDDI’s technologies to improve the efficiency of its distribution network and strengthen its store functions during disasters.

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