Report: Japanese buyout firms to sell Kracie stake

Advantage Partners, MKS Partners and Unison Capital are reportedly selling a controlling stake in the consumer goods manufacturer for ¥25bn three years after acquiring the business.

Japan-based buyout firms Advantage Partners, MKS Partners and Unison Capital are to sell a 60 percent stake in Kracie Holdings, a consumer goods manufacturer, a source told Reuters.

The majority stake is being sold to Hoyu Company, a hair-dye manufacturer based in Nagoya, for an estimated ¥25 billion ($262 million; €186 million), according to the Nikkei newspaper. Advantage, MKS and Unison will retain a 40 percent stake in the business.

The three private equity firms acquired a 100 percent stake in Kracie for about ¥43 billion in January 2006 through Trinity Investment, an investment vehicle in which all three firms own an equal stake.

Kracie manufactures food, pharmaceutical and household products. It was a part of Kanebo, a consumer goods manufacturer that was delisted in 2004 following an accounting fraud and then acquired by the Industrial Revitalisation Corporation of Japan, a state-backed bailout firm.

Unison Capital is currently in the market for its third fund which is targeting ¥200 billion and raised ¥120 billion for its second close in October 2008. Founded in 1998, Unison raised ¥38 billion for its first fund in 1999 and in 2004 it raised ¥135 billion for its second fund.

Established in 1992, Advantage Partners manages assets of about ¥380 billion. It is currently deploying capital from its fourth buyout fund which closed on ¥215 billion and raising capital for a fund that will take minority positions in publicly listed companies.

MKS Partners is winding down its operations. It reportedly halted new investments in November 2008 to focus on managing and selling its existing portfolio of companies.

Unison Capital and Advantage Partners did not respond to a request for comment by press time. MKS could not be reached.