JIP agrees to Sony carveout

The domestic PE firm secures the latest of several Japanese corporate divestitures.

Private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners has agreed to acquire the PC business of ailing Japanese electronics giant Sony, according to a joint statement.
 
Sony's PC business is currently operated under the VAIO brand.
 
JIP intends to set up the unit as a separate entity and help “optimize the sales channels and scale of operations, while evaluating possible further geographic expansion. Through these measures, the new company will aim to quickly secure stable profit”.
 
Sony will initially invest 5 percent of the new company's capital to support its launch and facilitate a smooth business transition. Further financial details were not disclosed.
 
The deal is among a string of recent corporate divestitures in Japan, where the government has launched measures in attempt to revive the economy. 
 
Last year, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts agreed to a $1.67 billion deal with Panasonic to acquire its healthcare division, taking an 80 percent stake in the business.
 
Also in 2013, The Longreach Group announced two carve-outs in Japan. It agreed to acquire two divisions of Osaka-based Arrk Corp, a design engineering and prototyping corporation as well as plans to acquire full ownership of Hitachi Via Mechanics from parent company Hitachi.
 
Tokyo-based Japan Industrial Partners was founded in 2002 and has raised three funds, according to Private Equity International's Research & Analytics divison. JIP restructures and revitalises mid-sized businesses in Japan by providing capital and assistance.
 
In 2012, JIP bought the mobile telecommunications division of camera manufacturer Olympus, which had been hit by scandal. In 2007, JIP acquired together with Bain Capital Japan’s SunTelephone, which was exited in 2012, reportedly for an 8x multiple, PEI reported earlier.