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Blackstone again extends deadline for Unizo to respond to its buyout offer

Credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

Blackstone Group said on Friday it had further extended the deadline for Japanese hotel operator Unizo Holdings to respond to the buyout firm's $1.6 billion buyout offer. Blackstone said in a statement it would provide an additional update by Wednesday.

TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group BX.N said on Friday it had further extended the deadline for Japanese hotel operator Unizo Holdings 3258.T to respond to the buyout firm's $1.6 billion buyout offer.

Blackstone said in a statement it would provide an additional update by Wednesday. The U.S. firm had given Unizo until Nov. 19 to decide on its 5,000-yen-per-share offer. It has been extending the deadline since Oct. 23.

Blackstone last month emerged as a bidder for Unizo and warned the company it would launch a tender offer or explore other options if Unizo did not agree to its proposal.

Unizo in July became a target for a hostile bid by a Japanese travel agent H.I.S. Co 9603.T. Unizo at one stage turned to U.S. buyout firm Fortress Investment Group to fend off the bid. But later it withdrew its support for Fortress' white-knight offer.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita and Kevin Buckland Editing by William Mallard)

((Kevin.Buckland@thomsonreuters.com;))

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