Japanese companies’ foreign acquisitions hit record 10 trillion yen
Date: Nov 10, 2015
TOKYO — Japanese companies increasingly are snapping up foreign businesses, setting their sights abroad as the home market grays.
Overseas mergers and acquisitions by Japanese enterprises topped 10 trillion yen ($80.4 billion) for the first time as of Monday, Tokyo-based M&A adviser Recof said. The year-to-date figure already exceeds the 5.78 trillion yen for all of 2014 by more than 70% and beats the 8.6 trillion yen record set in 2006.
The 474 acquisitions so far this year are fewer than the 557 made in 2014, indicating more large-scale purchases. Though a weaker yen helped inflate the value, the buying appetite is strong.
The financial industry led the surge. Major buyers included Tokio Marine Holdings and Meiji Yasuda Life. Notable players in other industries included Japan Post Holdings, which bought Australian logistics company Toll Holdings, as well as Japan Tobacco, which is buying a major tobacco brand from Reynolds American.
Japanese buyers accounted for 6.6% of all cross-border acquisitions in the 10 months through October, up 1.5 percentage points on the year and lifting Japan by a notch to sixth globally, research company Dealogic said.
“Many of the companies are considering M&As for further growth,” said Shinsuke Tsunoda of Nomura Securities.
With market players closely watching capital efficiency, companies are likely to continue their buying spree, tapping abundant cash.