Jun 24, 2022 - Economy

Japan has become friends with private equity

Illustration of the Yen symbol combined with an upward pointing arrow

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Toshiba may receive takeover bids that value the Japanese conglomerate at around $22 billion, or a 26% premium to Wednesday's closing value and slightly higher than last year's failed approach from CVC Capital Partners, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: This reflects renewed private equity interest in Japan, after a period of retreat, and also Japan's newfound embrace of private equity after decades of hostility.

Caveat: Toshiba is an extremely complicated company, with a roller coaster history of divestitures and attempted divestitures, so it's possible that the $22 billion enterprise value is just being derived from bids for some of its assets.

  • At that price, however, it would be the largest-ever private equity deal for a Japanese company.

Go deeper: Bloomberg has a smart piece on the changing environment in Japan, where private equity once was despised for a 2000 deal that ultimately required a taxpayer bailout despite the PE firm generating a big return. It notes: Foreign investment funds became labeled as 'hagetaka,' or vultures."

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