J-STAR makes first deal from third buyout fund

The Tokyo-based firm is set to hold a final close on its latest fund in the coming weeks.

J-STAR, a Japanese mid-market firm, has acquired veterinary clinic Fuji Field, marking the first transaction from its latest Japan-focused buyout fund.

J-STAR No. 3 Investment Limited Partnership is the firm’s third buyout vehicle which launched in July last year with a ¥30 billion ($270 million; €250 million) target. The firm is expected to hold a final close in the next few weeks, according to a source with knowledge of the fundraising.

While financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, J-STAR typically makes equity investments of between ¥1 billion and ¥3 billion in small to mid-sized Japanese companies.

Founded in 2006, Tokyo-headquartered Fuji Field operates three vet clinics and seven pet salons in the Tokyo area.

J-STAR’s investment will be used for bolt-on acquisitions and optimising clinic operations. A spokeswoman for J-STAR said the firm is reviewing several vet clinics with EBITDA margins of about 15 percent to 25 percent.

J-STAR, which manages over $300 million of assets as of March 2016, has backed more than 30 transactions in consumer durables, services, healthcare, media and manufacturing.

The firm is also deploying its second fund, the 2012-vintage, ¥20.4 billion J-STAR No. 2. The firm’s latest transactions from its second vehicle include chemist chain Aisei Pharmacy, nursing care provider Platia and insurance agency Sokisha Corporation.