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Business deals

Coronavirus curbs Japan's appetite for corporate dealmaking

Further decline in M&As feared after value plunges in first three months of year

Seven and i Holdings withdrew its bid for the Speedway chain of gas stations in March, as Japanese companies reined back overseas deals in the first quarter. (Source photo by Keiichiro Sato and AP) 

TOKYO -- Corporate Japan is reining in investment as the coronavirus spreads worldwide, driving first quarter merger and acquisition deals to decline for the first time in three years.

The value of deals struck by Japanese companies fell 42% in in the three months through to the end of March compared with the same period a year ago, according to data from Tokyo-based M&A consultancy Recof. The number of deals fell 4.5% to 978 year-on-year.

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