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Blackstone funds to submit ¥37.9B bid for Astro Japan

Funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate proposed to acquire the entire property portfolio held by Astro Japan Property Group for a net cash consideration of ¥37.91 billion.

The funds will buy the properties in Japan by purchasing Astro Japan's TK Interests, following which, the company will delist from the Australian securities exchange and wind up before January 2018, both of which are expected to start Oct. 10.

The sale will also see Astro Japan security holders receiving a net consideration of about A$7.18 per security in October. Additionally, the security holders will secure a normal half-yearly distribution of 21 Australian cents per security at August-end and estimated distributions of 14 cents apiece following Astro Japan's wind-up.

Astro Japan plans to return the net proceeds from the sale to its security holders.

Astro Japan's board unanimously back Blackstone's offer and plans to vote in favor of the resolutions in the absence of a better proposal, urging security holders to follow suit. Meanwhile, independent expert Grant Samuel & Associates Pty Ltd. also deemed the proposal to be "fair and reasonable."

However, the proposal would require approval from Astro Japan's security holders in the form of a majority vote at a meeting Sept. 13.

In order for the Blackstone proposal to go through, the asset management arrangements between Astro Japan's asset manager, Spring Investments Co. Ltd., and TK Operators would have to be terminated. Upon implementation of the proposal, which is targeted for Oct. 4, the Blackstone funds will sign new asset management arrangements with Spring.

Astro Japan fielded interest from Lone Star Funds in early March for its properties, but eventually rejected the private equity firm's overtures.

Herbert Smith Freehills and Fort Street Advisers are acting as advisers to Astro Japan for the deal.

As of July 31, US$1 was equivalent to ¥110.50 and A$1.25.