Private equity firms circle Japan’s JVC(2)

A trio of private equity firms including Permira are reportedly mulling offers for Victor Co of Japan, better known as JVC and owned by Matsushita.

Permira, Texas Pacific Group and CCMP Capital Asia are looking to buy JVC, from Matsushita Electric Industrial, which also owns rival electronic brand Panasonic, according to media reports.

Permira, which set up its Tokyo office formally in October 2005, has yet to do a deal in Japan. TPG Newbridge last year beefed up its Japan operations in a deliberate move to increase its focus in the market. CCMP Asia has exited from an investment in Japan.

Aside from the three private equity firms who have expressed interest in bidding for JVC, formally known as Victor Co of Japan, JVC’s management has also been exploring a buyout with US private equity firm Cerberus, according to a Reuters source in December.

“One of them has actually submitted a bid while the other two are very interested,” Reuters quoted unnamed sources as saying. Matsushita, which owns 52.4 percent of JVC, is considering trimming its $640 million stake in the loss maker famed for pioneering VHS-format videocassette recorders.

A second round of bids is expected as soon as the end of this week, according to Asian Wall Street Journal. On 3 February, Matsushita and JVC indicated that nothing has been decided. Their statements followed a report by Asahi newspaper. The Japanese newspaper said Matsushita may select a preferred bidder by end of February.