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KDDI to launch tender offer for Lawson shares

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06 Feb 2024 11:02:50 GMT9
06 Feb 2024 11:02:50 GMT9

TOKYO: Major Japanese telecommunications carrier KDDI Corp. said Tuesday that it will launch a 497.1-billion-yen tender offer for Lawson Inc. around April to jointly own the convenience store operator with trading house Mitsubishi Corp.

The move is aimed at expanding Lawson’s business by leveraging KDDI’s telecommunications and digital technologies.

KDDI will buy Lawson shares at 10,360 yen apiece, while Mitsubishi will maintain its shareholdings in Lawson. If the tender offer is successful, Lawson is expected to be taken private and owned equally by KDDI and Lawson. It will become an equity-method affiliate of KDDI and Mitsubishi.

“We hope that our telecommunications and digital transformation technologies will be used to realize a convenience store of the future,” KDDI President Makoto Takahashi told a press conference.

Lawson will aim to offer remote financial and insurance counseling services in stores, as well as provide drug instructions and accept inquiries on KDDI’s “au” mobile services. It will also seek to streamline store operations and use drones to deliver goods.

“Ultimately, shopping is possible with convenience stores and e-commerce platforms,” Lawson President Sadanobu Takemasu said. “For that, telecommunications technology that connects them is important.”

Mitsubishi made Lawson a subsidiary in 2017, while KDDI and Lawson formed a capital and business tie-up in 2019, with KDDI taking a 2.1 pct stake in Lawson. KDDI has also integrated its reward point service into the Ponta program, which is available at Lawson stores, in an effort to attract customers.

JIJI Press

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