Feb 22, 2011
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Japan's Aeon to take 12.31 percent stake in Parco

Feb 22, 2011

Feb 21 - Aeon Co Ltd, Japan's second-largest retailer, said on Tuesday it will take a 12.31 percent stake in Parco Co and seek an alliance with the fashion-oriented shopping mall operator, helping to lift its urban presence.

Aeon in Japan

Aeon, which operates department stores, supermarkets in mostly suburban areas, said it will buy the shares from the market and existing major Parco shareholders, but that does not include major real estate developer Mori Trust Co or state-owned Development Bank of Japan.

Mori Trust is Parco's top stakeholder with a 33.2 percent interest and last year Parco announced plans to sell $178 million worth of convertible bonds to DBJ to help it diversify its revenues through store redevelopment and acquisitions.

The move would make Aeon the second-largest shareholder in Parco, which operates specialty department stores in urban areas.

Aeon is looking to use the relationship with Parco from the deal, which was initially reported by the Nikkei business daily, to look for ways to strengthen each other's existing outlets as well as their expansion overseas.

Aeon is aiming to nearly double its operating profit in three years by expanding in Asia, as it looks to nurture growth beyond its stagnant domestic market.

(Reporting by James Topham in Tokyo and Renju Jose in Bangalore;
Editing by Michael Watson)

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