TOKYO -- U.S. investment bank JP Morgan said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy and resell 165 million common shares in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) held by funds organised by Tokyo-based Phoenix Capital.
JP Morgan has agreed with undisclosed non-Japanese institutional investors to transfer all the shares before the Tokyo stock market opens on Wednesday, a spokeswoman at the bank said.
JP Morgan and Phoenix Capital had agreed last summer to offer a combined 200 billion yen ($1.79 billion) in aid to MMC to help the debt-ridden Japanese auto maker rebuild itself.
At the time, Phoenix Capital had bought 740 million common shares in MMC for 100 yen each, while JP Morgan took 126 billion yen of convertible preferred shares.
A spokesman at Phoenix Capital declined to disclose the shares' selling price. At Tuesday's closing price of 139 yen, the sale would be worth 22.935 billion yen.
The spokesman said Phoenix Capital had decided to sell the shares because MMC's restructuring efforts were "going smoothly", adding there was no change in the fund's intention to continue supporting the auto maker as a major shareholder.
With the sale, Phoenix Capital's stake in MMC would fall to 13.42 percent, an MMC spokesman said, making Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. its top shareholder with 13.6 percent.
Other major shareholders include Mitsubishi Corp. with 13.4 percent and DaimlerChrysler AG with 12.8 percent.
Before the news, MMC shares ended the day flat.