Carlyle in $240m Japan IPO

Carlyle has listed Japanese auto software developer Broadleaf on the Tokyo stock exchange.

The Carlyle Group has revealed that its majority-owned Japanese company Broadleaf has gone public on the Tokyo stock exchange and has sold 73 percent of issued shares, according to a firm statement.

The sale totals around JPY 22.7 billion (€184 million; $240 million) based on today's share price.

Carlyle has also allocated 13 percent of the company’s issued shares for an over-allotment, the statement added. Including the over-allotment portion, Carlyle intends to sell all of its shareholdings, though the firm declined to provide any details.

Broadleaf, an auto aftermarket software provider, was an investment from Carlyle Japan Partners II, a JPY 165.6 billion fund of 2006 vintage that has made eight investments, according to the firm’s website. Broadleaf represents the fund's second divestment after the listing of Chimney Co. on the Tokyo stock exchange in December.

Carlyle acquired a majority stake in Broadleaf in November 2009 through a management buyout, helping it become independent from its parent company ITX in order to “focus on the long-term growth strategy of the company, including business model transformation and overseas expansion”, according to the statement.

Although Carlyle did not disclose the financial details of the original deal, reports at the time placed the deal at around JPY 19.5 billion.

“As a strategic partner with a long-term commitment, Carlyle has helped improve the company's business structure and develop a sustainable growth strategy,” Kenji Oyama, president of Broadleaf, said in the statement.

Last year, the planned listings of three Carlyle companies were cancelled, Private Equity International reported earlier. Chimney Co. had previously planned listings that were cancelled twice, and the IPO of LCD manufacturer AvanStrate in April and ball bearing manufacturer Tsubaki Nakashima in September were also shelved.

Carlyle remains bullish on Japan. Business sentiment in the country has received a boost from new leadership and a fiscal stimulus, and some firms have recently exited investments at above average multiples, PEI reported earlier.