Japan sees record PE-backed buyouts in H1 2017

The $3bn-plus deals recorded in the first half of 2016 was largely driven by KKR’s acquisition of Hitachi Koki and Hitachi Kokusai.

Private equity buyouts in Japan totalled $3.3 billion across 19 deals in the first half of the year, the highest since 2011 which recorded $4.3 billion.

KKR’s acquisitions of Hitachi Koki and Hitachi Kokusai Electric, which reached $2.5 billion, accounted for 75 percent of the deal value recorded, data from Mergermarket show.

In addition, four buyouts over $250 million were completed in the first six months of the year, compared with just one in the same period last year.

Private equity firms were most attracted to Japan’s business services sector, followed by industrials and chemicals, technology and real estate.

The first half of 2017 was also a strong period for Japan’s private equity exits with 20 deals worth $3.2 billion announced, the highest year-to-date count since 2013 which saw 25 deals.

The report noted also noted that total exit value saw a 424.5 percent growth from H1 2016, which recorded $620 million of exits across 14 deals.

Among notable exits include CITIC Capital Partners’ sale of polymer parts company Polymatech to Japanese chemicals companies Sekisui Chemical and Inabata in a ¥20 billion ($180 million; €164 million) deal, as well as Advantage Partners' sale of homebuilding company Katitas.