ECONOMY

Blackstone, Fortress Bidding for MBK’s Japan Golf Assets

Blackstone Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC are bidding to acquire Japanese golf-related assets from MBK Partners Ltd. in a deal that could be worth more than $3 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Blackstone and Fortress, a unit of SoftBank Group Corp., made it through an initial round of bidding in August, with the next round to be held in October, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. MBK, a North Asian private equity firm, is selling Accordia Golf Co. and Next Golf Management KK, which are estimated to be worth around 400 billion yen ($3.6 billion) combined, the people said.

It’s possible that other investor groups, including a consortium of Korean firms, are bidding, the people said. 

Seikyu Hong, a spokesman for MBK, declined to comment. A representative for Blackstone declined to comment, while Fortress didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment made outside normal U.S. business hours.

MBK bought Accordia Golf in 2017 in a tender offer reported to be worth up to 85.3 billion yen. The private equity firm says Accordia Next is Japan’s largest golf course operator, operating over 170 courses for a 12% market share.

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