Bain Capital to sell stake in Jupiter Shop Channel

The investment in one of Japan’s leading retail broadcasters was made through Bain Capital Asia Fund II.

Boston-based Bain Capital announced it will sell its entire 50 percent stake in Japanese television shopping channel Jupiter Shop Channel (JSC) to Japan’s largest cable operator Jupiter Telecommunications Company.

The transaction is expected to close in March 2016 after antitrust clearance, according to a statement. No further details were disclosed.

Bain Capital acquired its stake in JSC in July 2012 for about JPY 100 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.19 billion) through its Asia Fund II, a 2012-vintage vehicle that closed at $2.3 billion.

Known investors in the fund include California State Teachers' Retirement System, Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, Dartmouth College and Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension System, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.

Tokyo-headquartered JSC offers 24-hour live TV broadcasting and is the leading player in the Japanese market. About 28 million households – more than half of the total 50 million domestic TV market – have access to JSC, according to Sumitomo Corporation, which owns the other 50 percent of JSC.

Together Bain Capital and Sumitomo have pursued a number of growth initiatives for JSC, including accelerating e-commerce channel penetration and developing a digital device strategy, marketing enhancements, and a new pricing mechanism, which significantly improved JSC’s profitability, said the statement.

Bain opened its Tokyo office in 2006. In 2011, it conducted one of the largest Japanese buyouts to date, acquiring a majority stake in restaurant chain Skylark from an investment arm of Nomura Holdings. In May last year, along with Japan Industrial Partners, Bain further reduced its stake selling a combined 45.8 million shares in a deal valued at around $950 million.

The firm also acquired Domino's Pizza Japan in 2010 and bought Bellsystem24, a call centre operator, from Citigroup in 2009 in a deal reportedly worth $1 billion.

Bain completed fundraising for its third Asia-focused fund in December 2015, beating its target and closing on its hard-cap of $3 billion, as reported by Private Equity International. The pan Asian-fund has the same strategy as Bain’s previous Asia funds with a geographical focus on China, Japan, India and Australia and the flexibility to invest wherever the opportunities are in the region, as reported.