November 30, 2012

Sony To Sell Battery Business

Sony Corp. (6758) is reportedly in talks with Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., as well as Japanese and foreign investment funds, for a potential sale of its battery business. The sale could be partial. Sony's battery business generated roughly JPY 142.5 billion (USD1.7 billion) in sales in the year ended March 2012.

According to a Tokyo research firm, Sony controlled 6.9% of the global market for lithium ion batteries in the April-June quarter this year, placing the company at fourth in the world after Samsung SDI Co., Panasonic Corp. (6752) and LG Chem Ltd.

November 27, 2012

Brightrust And 3 Other Parties Won Study Mandate From Japan's Largest Pension Fund

Japan's largest public pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) awarded "feasibility study"  mandates to  4 institutions including Brightrust PE Japan.  In August, GPIF solicited bids to conduct feasibility study on the USD 1.3 trillion fund's possible future investments in private equity, infrastructure and real estate. After a detailed selection process, the study mandates were awarded to 4 bidders.

Brightrust PE Japan submitted a proposal that aims to address various research topics that GPIF seeks to find solutions or deeper understanding before the pension fund formally contemplates private equity style investment programs. Capital Dynamics, T&D Asset Management and law firm Atsumi & Sakai were also given mandates for their respective areas of expertise.

Reuters – Japan’s GPIF to Conduct Studies for Alternative Asset Investment
Posted on: November 26, 2012

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund has selected four companies to conduct feasibility studies for its possible future investments in alternative assets, including private equity, writes Reuters. GPIF holds 108.2 trillion yen ($1.31 trillion) in assets.

Reuters – Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s biggest public pension fund, said it has selected four companies to conduct feasibility studies for its possible future investments in alternative assets, including private equity.

GPIF, which holds 108.2 trillion yen ($1.31 trillion) in assets, almost about the size of the Australian economy, is keen to diversify its massive portfolio to generate higher long-term investment returns.
The fund has been paying out more in benefits to pensioners than it receives in contributions to the national pension system since the 2009/10 financial year as the Japanese population is ageing rapidly.
GPIF has selected Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai, Swiss private equity fund firm Capital Dynamics, Japanese life insurer-backed asset firm T&D Asset Management and Tokyo-based independent private equity consultant firm Brightrust PE Japan for the feasibility studies.
They are required to complete their studies by end-March, 2013.
The results of the studies will be presented to the public and to the members of fund’s investment committee for review in the future, a GPIF official said.
GPIF Chairman Takahiro Mitani told Reuters in October that the public fund is considering whether to diversify into infrastructure, private equity and property, although not into hedge funds.
The fund has already diversified its assets by starting to invest in emerging markets equities earlier this year.
The fund makes allocations in line with its model portfolio, which currently gives a weighting of 11 percent to domestic stocks, 67 percent to domestic bonds, 9 percent to foreign stocks, 8 percent to foreign bonds and 5 percent to short-term assets.
The portion of emerging markets equities was allocated from GPIF’s foreign equities portfolio. ($1 = 82.3700 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)  

CITIC Japan Will Sponsor Polymatech Rehabilitation

CTIC Capital Japan will acquire 100% of Polymatech Co., a manufacturer of polymer parts for electronics industry, as sponsor under the civil rehabilitation process. With the investment from its 2nd fund, CITIC Capital Japan will send a few directors to Polymatech and leverage CITIC Group's network to assist the company to restore growth. Polymatech has production facilities in Japan (Fukushima), China, Malaysia and Indonesia and has a strong market position in mobile, car and home segment applications.

For details, please see:

November 14, 2012

Japan To Invest USD 15 Billion In Indian Infrastructure Projcts

Japan aims to carry out 19 infrastructure projects totaling roughly JPY 1.2 trillion (USD 15 billion) in western India through a coordinated government and private-sector effort to help India to obtain stable supplies of industrial water and power and improve its transportation and logistics networks. The projects will form the core of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

Prime Ministers of both countries are expected to reach an agreement on the plans in a summit meeting scheduled for Friday.

The massive investment program will consist of JPY 240 billion (USD 3 billion) for water-related facilities, JPY 200 billion (USD 2.5 billion) for next-generation grids and power plants and JPY 760 billion (USD 9.5 billion) for transportation and distribution projects.

Sanyo May Sell Its Digital Camera Business To A Fund

Sanyo Electric Co., a subsidiary of Panasonic Corp. (6752), is reportedly in talks to sell its digital camera business to an investment fund and the sale may be completed by the end of this year. 

Sanyo has no camera brand of its own, instead it supplies products on an OEM basis to several firms including Olympus Corp. (7733).  Its digital camera production reached about 11 million units in the year ended March 2011. 

While Panasonic has its own digital camera operations, the businesses have been kept separate and Sanyo spun off its operations in this July with an eye toward their eventual sale. 

November 02, 2012

Carlyle Japan Closed 2 Deals In 40 Days

Carlyle Japan announced that Carlyle Japan Partners II fund will acquire a 100% stake in Diversey G.K. (“Diversey Japan”) from Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE) for approx. JPY 30 billion (USD 377 million). Carlyle will sponsor the management buyout of Diversey Japan, which is expected to be completed in the 4th quarter of this year. Diversey Japan is a leading provider of cleaning, sanitation and hygiene products and solutions, mainly to institutional clients, with trailing twelve month sales as of September 30, 2012, of USD 321 million. Diversey Japan marks the 2nd deal for CJP II fund just in 40 days.

On September 25, Carlyle Japan announced that it had acquired the entire shares of Arizona-based engine component maker Walbro Engine Management from Sun Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed. Walbro is the world’s largest manufacturer of carburetors in the lawn & garden market and a major manufacturer of ignition systems, fuel injection and air/fuel management components. It employs 2,200 people in the United States, Japan, Thailand, China and Mexico.

Sun Capital invested in Walbro in 2007 from its fourth fund. So far this year, Sun Capital has 7 realizations and Walbro is the 4th sale to a private equity firm.