Ja­panese firms go full swing on M&A ac­tiv­i­ties

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - WORLD -

In spite of a busi­ness cul­ture tra­di­tion­ally re­sis­tant to M&As, the shrink­ing do­mes­tic mar­ket has forced Ja­panese firms to seek al­ter­na­tive ways to grow. With merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions hav­ing grown in re­cent years and about to hit a record high ($240.9 bln in the first half of the year), M&As seem to be the an­swer and an ef­fec­tive means to ex­pand busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and ac­cess new mar­kets.

The lat­est Merg­ers & Ac­qui­si­tions Re­view by Thom­son Reuters shows the ma­jor deals an­nounced with some de­gree of Ja­panese in­volve­ment in H1 2018. Takeda’s ac­qui­si­tion of the biotech­nol­ogy com­pany Shire plc for about $77 bln not only tops the list, but also rep­re­sents the largest over­seas pur­chase by a Ja­panese com­pany in his­tory. The deal, ex­pected to be closed in the first half of 2019, will pro­pel the Ja­panese phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant Takeda into the top ten rank­ing of global drug mak­ers.

The se­cond big­gest deal on the list is the merger of T-Mo­bile and Sprint Cor­po­ra­tion, in which the Ja­panese in­volve­ment comes as SoftBank Group Chair­man and CEO, Masayoshi Son, who will serve on the board of the new com­pany. SoftBank will own 27% of the com­bined com­pany that is then fore­cast to have the ca­pac­ity to rapidly cre­ate a na­tion­wide 5G net­work in the United States. Led by health­care and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions as the top tar­get in­dus­tries, the do­mes­tic M&A mar­ket more than dou­bled com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2017 and is ex­pected to con­tinue grow­ing over the course of the next year. (Source: Statista)

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