Morgan Stanley, Lehman, Goldman Sachs vie for stake in Japan's Daito

Mumbai: Investment banks Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers are among the bidders for a stake in Japanese real estate firm Daito Trust Construction Co.

Goldman Sachs and Aetos Capital LLC are also interested in acquiring Daito, which may lead to a multibillion-dollar buyout, sources close to the deal said.

Daito's founder is set to sell his stake in the company through an auction, which may lead to Japan's largest takeover involving private equity firms, four people familiar with the deal said.

Katsumi Tada, chairman of Daito Trust, Japan's fourth-largest developer by market value, owns 29 per cent of the company, according to regulatory filings. The first round of bids will close at the end of this month, the sources said.

The buyer, most likely a private equity fund, may approach other shareholders to purchase the rest of the company, leading to a transaction worth about 700 billion yen ($6.2 billion), said the people.

Trading in shares of Daito Trust was halted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Before trade was stopped the shares shot up 15.7 per cent to 6,490 yen, giving it a market value of about 804 billion yen ($7.1 billion).

Japanese investment bank Nomura Holdings is orchestrating the sale.