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Amusement Parks: Goldman unit buying Japanese theme park

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SG Investments, an investment fund unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., agreed to buy Universal Studios theme park in Osaka for about $1.2 billion.

An investment fund unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Friday it will take over the Universal Studios Japan theme park for about $1.2 billion after completing a tender offer.

SG Investments will buy 2.2 million shares, or 98.5%, in USJ Co., the park’s operator, the fund said.

The park opened in 2001 in the western city of Osaka, Japan’s second-biggest urban area after Tokyo, with rides and entertainment based on Hollywood movies including Jurassic Park and Jaws.

But it has never achieved the massive popularity of Disneyland near Tokyo, even among amusement park-loving Japanese.

The number of visitors at Universal Studios Japan fell 6.2% to 8.1 million during the fiscal year that ended in March, according to the park.

Goldman Sachs invested 20 billion yen in the theme park in 2005. The company declined to give further details on investments in the park.

SG Investments said it will buy the remaining shares in USJ to make the park operator a wholly owned subsidiary.

See also:
Goldman Sachs buys into Global Leisure Partners

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