Carlyle buys Japanese healthcare staffing firm

The private equity firm will pay $150m to de-list NIC, marking its second Japanese deal this year.

The Carlyle Group continues to secure relatively larger ticket deals in Japan, having most recently signed a ¥11.67 billion (€111 million; $ 151.8 million) deal to back the management buyout of NIC Corp, a medical administrative and staffing services provider.

The global firm will borrow ¥5.35 billion from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking for the acquisition of the Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company, according to a statement.

The deal follows the firm’s purchase of bearings components maker Tsubaki Nakashima earlier this year for a reported ¥70 billion. It marked the biggest buyout in Japan since Bain Capital’s acquisition of a 93.5 percent stake in the country’s largest telemarketing firm BellSystem24 in November 2009. The transaction valued the company at ¥100 billion at the time.

The two deals the firm has struck this year are above the average size private equity transaction in Japan. From 1998 to 2010, 78 percent of Japanese buyouts recorded deal sizes of less than $125 million, according to Brightrust PE Japan, a Tokyo-based private equity investment advisory and fund management services firm. Only 2 percent of the deals are more than $1.25 billion.

Carlyle is the only major global firm with Japan-dedicated funds. In addition to the two transactions it has done this year, in August it recorded a partial exit from Covalent, in which Carlyle and Unison Capital invested a reported $509 million in December 2006. The firm also sold crane company Kito in February.