S Korean PE firm MBK to buy Japanese golf course operator Accordia Golf for $760 mn

South Korean private equity firm MBK Partners today struck a deal to buy Japanese golf course operator Accordia Golf Co for about $760 million.

MBK will launch a tender offer to buy all shares in Accordia at 1,210 ($10.78) each, a 16.9 per cent premium to Accordia's Tuesday closing price.

The major shareholders like investment fund Reno holding 9.93 per cent, Aya Nomura holding 9.87 per cent and Office Support Corp with 2.98 per cent - have agreed to sell their shares to the offer, MBK said in a statement.

Founded in 1981 by Goldman Sachs and took the company public in 2006, and sold it in 2011.

Accordia Golf, which has a market cap of $860 million, operates golf courses and golf practice ranges. The company also operates restaurants in golf courses, as well as sells golf equipments.

The Stock Exchange-listed company owns 43 golf courses and manages 93 others.

Japan is the world's third-largest golf market-behind the US and the UK, with more than 2,400 golf courses and about 8 million players.

Founded in 2005 by former Carlyle managers, MBK Partners is one of the biggest Asian buyout funds with about $10 billion in assets under management.

The buyout group has been a contender for many Asian deals, with funding mostly from international pension funds and sovereign wealth funds such as Singapore's Temasek and Canada Pension Plan.

Its recent acquisitions include the $6 billion purchase of Tesco's supermarket business in South Korea last year.

MBK said by taking Accordia private, it can focus resources on longer-term projects such as the acquisition of golf courses at home and overseas and attract tourists even when the overall golf playing population in Japan is shrinking.