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UPDATE 1-In reversal, Murakami-linked fund restarts bid for Japan Asia Group

(Adds share price move of JAG, background of Murakami)

TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) - A Japanese fund backed by veteran activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami reversed course and said it would begin a tender offer bid (TOB) for Japan Asia Group (JAG), the company said on Thursday.

The fund, City Index Eleventh, had said on March 3 that it was withdrawing its bid after JAG refused to cooperate with its efforts to carry out due diligence and announced a large, special dividend.

JAG shares fell as much as 4.9% in morning trading.

City Index Eleventh would pay 910 yen ($8.35) per share in JAG in the second tender offer, the fund said in a statement. JAG said it wasn’t offered an opportunity to discuss the tender offer beforehand, and would consider how to respond.

Murakami is one of Japan’s few, well-known activist shareholders. His typical strategy includes building up a stake in a company in the middle of a takeover and demanding that management boost its sale price. ($1 = 108.9300 yen) (Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Takashi Umekawa Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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