KKR bids $1.28bn for Hitachi tools unit

KKR's tender offer for Hitachi Koki comes two months after its $4.5bn bid for Japanese auto parts maker Calsonic Kansei.

Private equity giant KKR launched a tender offer to buy the power tool and life science equipment unit of Japanese conglomerate Hitachi in a deal valuing the company at $1.28 billion, according to a statement.

KKR said it will acquire all outstanding shares in Hitachi Koki through a tender offer at ¥870 per share ($7.60; €7.15). This includes approximately 40.25 percent of Hitachi Koki’s common shares and the 10.9 percent holding of Hitachi Urban Investment.

The deal comes on the heels of KKR’s $4.5 billion tender offer for Japanese auto parts maker Calsonic Kansei Corporation from Nissan Motor and other shareholders – one of the biggest private equity deals in Japan in recent years.

Both investments are structured through the firm’s Asian Fund II, a 2013-vintage $6 billion Asia buyout fund that is now more than 75 percent deployed.

“Hitachi Koki is a world-class manufacturer of power tools and a developer of innovative tool technologies,” Hiro Hirano, chief executive officer of KKR Japan, said in a statement.

“The company is well-positioned for further organic and inorganic growth given the high quality of its products, its high-calibre team and the attractive environment for power tools through cordless and digital trends. Looking ahead, we are fully committed to leveraging our global network and resources to provide full support to Hitachi Koki in pursuing its growth strategy.”

Hitachi Koki manufactures power tools and life science equipment. The company is actively pursuing expansion in global markets. It acquired German power tool company metabo Aktiengesellschaft in March 2016 and formed a strategic alliance with major North American hardware chain Lowe’s Companies in 2015.

With the acquisition KKR plans to grow Hitachi Koki though bolt-on acquisitions globally and operational improvement initiatives.

The tender offer is expected to begin in 30 January 2017.