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AEON unit to sell Wonder stake to Japan's Rizap Group

AEON Co. Ltd.'s unit Kasumi Co. Ltd. is looking to sell its 43% stake in WonderCorp. to Tokyo-based fitness lesson provider Rizap Group Inc. as part of the company's strategy to streamline its business amid a harsh competition from e-commerce websites and convenience stores, the Nikkei Asian Review reported March 19.

Wonder operates music and video game stores. Rizap reportedly plans to acquire more Wonder shares through a third-party share placement.

The report said AEON has started divesting its "poorly performing" subsidiaries after missing its profit target in its latest midterm business plan.

It was also recently reported that the master license agreement between the Japanese retailer and U.K. home furnishing retailer Laura Ashley Holdings PLC will end, effective Sept. 17. This will result in the closure of 120 Laura Ashley outlets in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Nikkei said.

The transfer of shares to Rizap is expected to be completed in May, the report added.