Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart Co said on Wednesday it had received a proposal from Itochu Corp that the trading house would buy its shares through a tender offer, in a deal one newspaper said could be worth up to $5.6 billion.
The Nikkei business daily reported earlier that Itochu, which owns just over 50% of FamilyMart, planned to buy the rest of the company to make it a wholly owned unit. The tender offer would reach around 500 to 600 billion yen, the Nikkei said.
The deal will allow Itochu to strengthen FamilyMart’s product procurement including from overseas while leveraging its retail data, the newspaper said.
Familymart said in a statement that Itochu’s offer proposal was under discussion at a board meeting on Wednesday and it would make a prompt disclosure when ready.
An Itochu representative was not able to comment immediately.
FamilyMart is one of Japan’s top convenience stores. Although retailers in the world’s third-largest economy have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, convenience stores have avoided some of the worst of the damage – given their locations in residential areas and customers’ need for daily items.
Itochu owns 50.36% of FamilyMart as of end-February, according to a recent filing by the convenience store chain.