(Mainichi: January 6, 2015 – p.4)
Japanese companies carried out a record 557 mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies in 2014, up 11.6% from the previous year, Mainichi learned on Jan. 5 from a survey conducted by Recof Corp., which specializes in advice on M&A. While Japanese companies have improved their business performances, they are stepping up their business overseas through M&A. The last record of 515 M&A deals was made in 2012.
A total of 231 M&A deals with Asian companies, a major increase of 14.3% from a year earlier, were carried out in 2014. The 231 deals account for over 40% of the entire deals.
Meantime, the value of the deals totaled 5.774 trillion yen in 2014, up 9.3% from a year earlier, which was the fifth largest ever. The largest acquisition was Suntory Holdings’ purchase of U.S. spirits company Beam Inc. for 1.6 trillion yen, and the second largest one was Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company’s buyout of U.S. peer Protective Life for 580 billion yen.
Recof analyzes that “amid a downturn in domestic demand (due in part to depopulation), Japanese companies will boost their overseas investments for M&A purposes.” Kengo Nishimura, a senior strategist for Nomura Securities, pointed out that “with the aim of increasing their market share, Japanese companies’ large-scale buyout of overseas companies has almost taken root.”