Private equity firm KKR Group plans to list Kokusai Electric Corp.’s shares in Tokyo as early as October at a valuation north of ¥400 billion ($2.7 billion), a person familiar with the matter said.
(Bloomberg) — Private equity firm KKR Group plans to list Kokusai Electric Corp.’s shares in Tokyo as early as October at a valuation north of ¥400 billion ($2.7 billion), a person familiar with the matter said.
KKR will float a portion of the shares it owns in the former Hitachi Ltd. operations on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the person said, asking not to be named as the talks are not public. While it’s not yet clear how much equity will be sold to investors, the initial public offering would raise roughly $540 million if the company sold a 20% stake.
Recent listings in Tokyo include Rakuten Bank Ltd.’s $623 million initial public offering in April, the country’s largest since SoftBank Group Corp.’s telecom unit SoftBank Corp. listed in 2018.
A representative from KKR declined to comment on Wednesday. A representative from Kokusai Electric could not immediately be reached for comment.
Kokusai Electric’s IPO preparations, which were reported earlier by the Nikkei, come as policymakers see semiconductors as key to national security, with equipment used to process silicon wafers critical for artificial intelligence and supercomputers.
California-based semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials Inc. struck a deal to buy the smaller Tokyo-based Kokusai Electric in 2019, but the deal was scuttled after it failed to win approval from Chinese regulators. Both companies supply the world’s biggest chipmakers such as Samsung Electronics Co., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Intel Corp.
Mounting costs to pack more transistors onto slivers of silicon have been spurring chip gear and materials makers to pool their resources. But merger talks have often been frustrated by antitrust regulators and concerns about a single company holding sway over technologies with possible military applications.
The Qatar Investment Authority acquired a minority stake in the company, which was spun out of Hitachi Kokusai Electric after KKR bought the mobile phone and wireless equipment manufacturer in a tender offer in 2017.
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