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Blackstone makes $1.7 billion bid for Japan e-comics platform Infocom

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the Blackstone Group headquarters in New York City

TOKYO (Reuters) -Blackstone launched a 275.8 billion yen ($1.74 billion) bid to take Japanese digital comic distributor Infocom private, including a tender offer for a per-share price of 6,060 yen, Infocom said on Tuesday.

The tender offer will amount to 141.4 billion yen, Infocom said. The company's current parent Teijin separately said it will sell all of its 58% stake in Infocom for 134.4 billion yen in a share buyback after the buyout is completed.

Infocom operates digital comic site Mecha Comic, which is among Japan's largest, according to its website.

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.

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M&A in Japan reached a record $35.5 billion in 2023, LSEG data shows. The Infocom deal marks the largest private equity transaction in Japan this year, Blackstone said in a statement.

Infocom's share price has more than doubled since news of the potential buyout was first reported last month, closing at 6,030 yen on Tuesday from below 3,000 yen in early May.

Teijin, a conglomerate with chemical, healthcare and internet businesses, said it will book a 105 billion yen profit on a consolidated basis from the sale of Infocom in the current financial year ending in March 2025.

($1 = 158.0800 yen)

(Reporting by Anton Bridge and Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Miral Fahmy)