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Ripplewood offers to help failed Dai-Ichi Hotel+.

TOKYO, June 22 Kyodo

U.S. investment company Ripplewood Holdings LLC has offered to help failed Dai-Ichi Hotel Ltd. rebuild itself, Dai-Ichi Hotel sources said Thursday.

"We have received offers from some companies and Ripplewood is just one of them," a Dai-Ichi Hotel source said.

Ripplewood, which acquired the management rights of Shinsei Bank, the biggest shareholder in Dai-Ichi Hotel, in March, has voiced intention of joining hands with U.S. hotel company Marriott International Inc. to purchase Japanese hotels with a fund of 400 billion yen through a joint venture.

Soon after Tokyo-based Dai-Ichi Hotel effectively went bankrupt and filed for legal protection for rehabilitation in May, leading railway operator Hankyu Corp., a major shareholder in Dai-Ichi Hotel, expressed its intention to support the hotel chain operator.

Backed by loans from the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan (LTCB), which is now Shinsei Bank, and other banks, Dai-Ichi Hotel opened high-class hotels in Tokyo during the asset-inflated bubble era from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.

Because of the post-bubble earnings deterioration and the subsequent failure in its negotiations with financial institutions over waiver of its debts, Dai-Ichi Hotel gave up its own reconstruction efforts.

Dai-Ichi Hotel had liabilities of 115.2 billion yen.

For Ripplewood, however, which is interested in the hotel business in Japan, and Hankyu, which has an eye on the hotel business in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Dai-Ichi's deluxe hotels are attractive assets despite its management failures, an industry source said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jun 26, 2000
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