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Blackstone Group makes first buy-out ever in Japan

Japanese flag on a pole.
Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Blackstone Group agreed to buy Ayumi Pharmaceutical, a Japanese maker of anti-rheumatism drugs, from Unison Capital for a reported $1 billion.

Why it's the BFD: Because it's Blackstone's first-ever buyout in Japan, and comes as many other U.S. and European private equity firms are seeking deals in a country they had spent over a decade ignoring. "We are seeing much more deal flow in Japan," said Kewsong Lee, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, speaking last month at the SuperReturn event in Berlin. "It is the third largest economy in the world, but private-equity penetration there is much lower."