Seven & I Replaces Sogo & Seibu President as Step Toward Sale

REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
The logo of Seven & I Holdings is seen at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese retailer Seven & i Holdings Co. on Tuesday announced the replacement of the president of Sogo & Seibu Co. in an apparent move to pave the way for selling the department store unit.

Hiroto Taguchi, 62, an executive at Sogo & Seibu, took over presidency from Takuji Hayashi on the day.

“We aim to realize an early sale of [Sogo & Seibu] through the change to a more powerful leader,” Seven & i said in a statement.

The replacement raised the possibility that delayed negotiations over the Sogo & Seibu sale plan will be settled.

In November last year, Seven & i said it would sell Sogo & Seibu to U.S. fund Fortress Investment Group LLC, which is in partnership with home electronics retail group Yodobashi Holdings Co.

Meanwhile, the scheduled sale has been delayed twice due to local opposition to a plan to open a Yodobashi outlet in Sogo & Seibu’s flagship Seibu Ikebukuro store in Tokyo after the department store is sold to the fund.