Under the terms of the deal, SG will buy 2.2 million shares, or 98.5 per cent, in USJ Company, which operates the park.

Universal Studios Japan opened in 2001, yet although the western city of Osaka remains Japan’s second-biggest urban area, the park has never achieved the massive popularity of Disneyland near the capital, Tokyo.

The number of visitors at Universal Studios Japan fell 6.2 per cent to 8.1 million during the fiscal year that ended in March.