Carlyle capitalises on Japan’s cloud computing infra

The firm’s acquisition of leading cloud services company WingArc1st is its second takeover in a week, following its purchase of beansprouts brand GGC Group.

The Carlyle Group has acquired a 100 percent stake in software company WingArc1st from the company’s chief executive Hiroyuki Uchino and OPI2002 Investment Fund, a subsidiary of Japanese financial services group ORIX Corporation, the firm said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to close in April 2016.

The investment comes from Carlyle Japan Partners III, the firm’s third Japan buyout fund which raised JPY 119.5 billion ($1 billion; €920 million) in September 2015. Known investors in the fund include the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois and the New Hampshire Retirement System, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

Just last week, Carlyle announced its acquisition of Japanese beansprout brand GGC Group for an undisclosed sum, as reported by Agri Investor.

Carlyle’s investments are focused on small and medium enterprises and family-owned firms in Japan including mortgage bank Aruhi Corporation, snack manufacturer Oyatsu, building components company Senqcia and healthcare company Sunsho Pharmaceutical. The firm has three buyout funds in Japan which have made more than 20 investments in healthcare, industrial equipment, automobiles, business outsourcing, and media and telecom companies.

Tokyo-headquartered WingArc1st provides Enterprise Output Management (EOM) software and Business Intelligence (BI) software. Its core products SVF and Dr. Sum EA have top shares in their respective markets in Japan, according to a statement.

WingArc1st regards the increasing penetration of cloud computing in the Japanese software market as an important business opportunity, and has started providing “SVF Cloud” and “MotionBoard Cloud”, both of which are new services designed for cloud computing environments.

Japan leads in cloud computing readiness according to the 2015 International Trade Administration Cloud Computing Top Markets Report. It has consistently been one of the top markets for growth in information and communications technology (ICT) and cloud services. Research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that by 2018 the Asia Pacific and Japan region will account for $11.5 billion in total cloud service spending.

Government regulations have stimulated cloud services growth in the country. Two examples are the Digital Japan Creation Project that has rolled out cloud services to both public and private sectors and a nationwide broadband initiative for all households by the end of 2015.

“WingArc1st can drive business expansion by leveraging its prominent position in the Japanese EOM and BI software markets. We highly value the leadership of the management team led by Mr. Hiroyuki Uchino, the company’s strong position in the Japanese software market and its growth potential. Carlyle is fully committed to offering our global network and industry insights in supporting WingArc1st to become the best solution services provider in the cloud computing era,” managing director and co-head of Carlyle Japan Kazuhiro Yamada said.

Carlyle has $183 billion of assets under management across 126 funds and 160 fund of funds vehicles as at December 2015.