Japan e-comics platform Infocom says yet to decide on Blackstone takeover offer

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TOKYO : Japanese digital comic distributor Infocom will announce its board's decision on a takeover bid from Blackstone once all its disclosure documents are ready, the company said on Tuesday.

Infocom was responding to a report in the Nikkei newspaper that Blackstone had reached a final agreement to acquire Infocom, priced at around 6,000 yen per share for a total purchase price of around 280 billion yen ($1.78 billion). The deal would take effect on Wednesday, it added.

Blackstone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Infocom operates digital comic site MechaComic, which is Japan's largest, according to its Twitter page.

Global investor interest in Japanese companies has surged in recent years as the weak yen, strong public markets and corporate governance changes make mergers and acquisitions (M&A) attractive.

M&A in Japan reached a record $35.5 billion in 2023, LSEG data shows, and this deal would be Blackstone's largest acquisition in Japan, the Nikkei said.

Infocom's share price has more than doubled since news of the potential buyout was first reported last month, rising to above 6,000 yen on Tuesday from below 3,000 yen in early May.

Infocom's current parent company, Teijin, will not take part in the takeover bid but will sell all the 55 per cent of Infocom's shares that it owns in a share buyback after the buyout is completed, the Nikkei reported.

Infocom, which is currently listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Prime market, will go private if the deal goes ahead, the Nikkei added.

($1 = 157.5300 yen)

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