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Fortress, Goldman among Joint Corp bidders

Fortress Investment Group, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Pacific Alliance Group are among bidders for failed Japanese apartment developer Joint Corp in a deal that could be worth up to 80 billion yen ($861 million), two people with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Joint Corp filed for bankruptcy protection in May with about $1.6 billion in debt, one of several property firms to fail due to a sharp slowdown in Japan's apartment market, and it has been looking for an investor to keep its businesses going.

Fortress Investment, Goldman, and real estate fund Pacific Alliance will participate in the second round of bidding for Joint due to close on October 5, said the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bidding process is not public.

Joint Corp is one of a number of failed Japanese real estate companies looking for new investors. New City Residence Investment Corp, a residential real estate investment trust, is waiting for creditors' approval for Lone Star LS.UL to become a new investor.

Joint Corp failed with debt worth 147.6 billion yen ($1.6 billion) in the second-largest failure among Japanese real estate developers this year, according to Tokyo Shoko Research. Japan General Estate Co failed in September with 196 billion yen in debt.

Orix Corp, Japan's largest leasing firm and a major real estate investor, once invested in Joint Corp to shore up the developer's capital.

After Joint filed for court protection, Orix sold its entire 39.8% stake in the apartment developer, according to a statement issued by Joint.

Joint developed condominiums in Tokyo and resort destinations. It also owns the asset management arm of real estate investment trust Joint Reit Investment Corp. (Reuters)