Goldman To Take Over Universal Studios

Goldman Sachs, which owns a 41 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan Co., the owner of the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka, plans to make a takeover bid to gain 100 percent of the company.

According to a Jan. 15 report by Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs aims to make the bid by March 31.

The remaining 59 percent share of USJ Co. was worth about 50 billion yen ($555 million) at the time the article was published.

USJ’s stock price has dropped more than 40 percent in the last year, even though the company reported turning a profit in 2007. Goldman first starting investing in the company in 2005, when the theme park was plagued with a series of scandals involving bad drinking water and expired food.

Pundits interviewed by Bloomberg projected that Goldman was taking advantage of the poor economy to buy up the stock at a reasonable price. With complete control of the theme park, the American company will likely add more attractions to boost attendance. Goldman’s representative in Tokyo refused to comment.

The theme park opened in 2001. Attendance for the fiscal year ending March 31 is projected to be 8.6 million, down from a high of 9.9 million in fiscal 2003.