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TOKYO-Goldman Sachs plans to raise up to $1.04 billion in a share listing next month of its Japanese golf course unit, Accordia Golf Co. The IPO is expected to be Japan’s third-biggest of the year.

The listing is only marginally smaller than the $1.4 billion secured by Nomura Real Estate earlier this month and an anticipated $3.3-billion offering by Aozora Bank planned for November. Accordia runs 91 courses and was bought by Goldman after Japan’s land prices collapsed. It is nearly as big as Pacific Golf, Japan’s biggest golf course operator with about 100 courses.

Goldman is selling between 55% and 60% of its Accordia holding in the IPO, which has been timed to fit in with a recovery in Japan’s golf market and a recovery in land prices. A number of Japan’s golf courses were bankrupted when the country’s land-price bubble burst in the early 1990s and operators who had used real estate as collateral for loans were exposed. This enabled foreign investors such as Goldman to buy the courses relatively cheaply.

The IPO comes one year after Lone Star raised $380 million from an IPO of part of its stake in Pacific Golf International. Goldman will sell 528,000 existing Accordia shares with a greenshoe option for an additional 57,800. In addition, the company will issue a further 50,000 new shares ahead of the listing. If Goldman Sachs secures the upper end of the target price range, the offering would value all of Accordia at yen 36 billion ($1.71 billion).

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