Carlyle invests in Japanese semiconductors

The Carlyle Group has made the first Japanese investment from its pan-Asian growth capital fund, backing a semiconductor assembly and testing services provider.

The Carlyle Group has invested ¥1.5 billion ($12.5 million) for a 15 percent stake in Nakaya Microdevices Corporation, a semiconductor assembler and tester based in Japan.

The investment, made through Carlyle Asia Growth Partners III, a $680 million fund that was raised in June 2006, is aimed at funding the expansion of Nakaya’s manufacturing capacity, according to a statement.

The transaction is the growth fund’s first in Japan, according to Wayne Tsou, managing director and head of Carlyle Asia Growth Capital group. It has made seven other investments so far.

Haruyasu Asakura, head of Carlyle’s Japan growth capital team said: “We see great growth potential in back-end semiconductor processing in Japan.”

Nakaya completed construction of a new factory in Usuki City last year, a facility that has enabled the consolidation of wafer testing, assembly and final testing to bare chip visual inspection processes.

Carlyle’s Japan growth capital team was formed in 2006 to fund expansions at medium-sized Japanese companies. The team aims to write $5-50 million equity cheques for investments in both significant minority stakes and in small control deals.

In Japan, Carlyle is also investing from a separate $1.9 billion country-focused buyout fund.