June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will become the biggest shareholder of Universal Studios Japan, the Asahi newspaper said.
The U.S. investment bank will buy 20 billion yen ($182 million) of the 25 billion yen worth of new shares the Osaka theme park will sell soon. Universal Studios Japan, which is now 25 percent owned by the city of Osaka, will use the money to pay down debt, Asahi said, without citing sources for the information.
Goldman Sachs will buy preferred securities that don't carry voting rights. These securities can be converted to common shares when the theme park sells stock to the public in years ahead. Goldman Sachs' equity stake wouldn't exceed 50 percent, Asahi said.
The theme park, which opened in March 2001, is in financial trouble because the number of visitors didn't rise as much as expected, Asahi said. The park has a cumulative deficit of 31.6 billion yen, the report said.