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Accordia Golf Said to Hire Daiwa to Counter PGM’s Buyout Bid

The Narashino Country Club managed by Accordia Golf Co.
A golfer tees off at the Narashino Country Club managed by Accordia Golf Co. in Chiba prefecture, Japan, July 29, 2006. Goldman's Accordia Golf Co. runs 109 Japanese courses and competes for properties against Lone Star's Pacific Golf Management KK, which has 104 clubs. Photographer: Haruyoshi Yamaguchi/Bloomberg News.

Accordia Golf Co., a Japanese golf course operator, hired Daiwa Securities Group Inc. as a financial adviser to counter a takeover bid by PGM Holdings K.K., two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Accordia is considering several options to give shareholders better value than the 81,000 yen ($990) a share offer by PGM, said the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private. They include bringing in a strategic investor and raising dividends, the people said.

Shares of Accordia jumped to a 22-month high. PGM has been seeking an acquisition to boost the scale of its golf business as playing numbers decline in Japan. It offered to acquire as many as 50.1 percent of Tokyo-based Accordia’s shares this month for about 43 billion yen.

Accordia declined to comment in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News. Misato Kinoshita, a spokeswoman for Daiwa in Tokyo, declined to comment, as did PGM’s Tomoko Thompson.

PGM has hired Barclays Plc’s Japanese brokerage unit as a financial adviser, Thompson said earlier today.

Accordia rose as much as 9.9 percent in Tokyo trading, and closed 6.3 percent higher at 77,400 yen, the highest since Jan. 6, 2011. The shares have climbed 45 percent since PGM announced its bid on Nov. 15. PGM gained 1.1 percent today to 70,800 yen.

Fewer Golfers

Accordia owns 132 golf courses, while Tokyo-based PGM has 124, according to their latest financial statements.

“It’s ideal to improve management efficiency through a merger to support shareholders’ interests, in light of the long-term declining trend in golf playing,” PGM said in a Nov. 15 statement. The number of Japan’s golfers 15 years old and over fell to 9 million last year from 17.8 million in 1991, it said.

PGM started the takeover bid “unilaterally,” Accordia said in a statement on Nov. 20, urging its shareholders to act “in a careful manner.”

PGM posted 2.3 billion yen of profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 938 million yen a year earlier, the company said on Nov. 8. Net income at Accordia fell 56 percent to 3.7 billion yen in the six months ended Sept. 30 from a year earlier, it said in October.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. used to own Accordia, while Lone Star Funds owned PGM. PGM and Accordia listed their stock after initial public offerings in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

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