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Former world's richest man Tsutsumi settles suit with Seibu

[TOKYO] Seibu Holdings Inc, the Japanese hotel and train operator, settled legal claims by its units against ex-chairman Yoshiaki Tsutsumi and four former managers over damages related to the falsification of shareholder records that led to the company's delisting a decade ago.

The company will book a 25.6 billion yen (US$223 million) one-time gain this quarter from the settlement, Seibu said in a statement Wednesday. To raise money for the agreement, the 81- year-old former chairman and others will sell stakes they hold in NW Corp, which owns about 15 per cent of Seibu, to the train operator, Tsutsumi said in a separate faxed statement in response to Seibu's announcement.

Tsutsumi amassed a US$16 billion personal fortune while at the helm of Seibu and was identified as the world's richest man by Forbes magazine in 1990. In 2005, Tsutsumi pleaded guilty to insider trading and falsifying shareholder records.

Seibu raised its net income forecast 33 per cent to 48.7 billion yen for the year ending March, the company said in a separate statement Wednesday. Seibu returned to the stock market almost two years ago in a initial public offering that valued the company at 547 billion yen.


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