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Business

Carlyle to buy Japan maker of Baby-Star ramen snack

Baby-Star noodles have been a favorite of Japanese snackers for decades.

NAGOYA -- The Japanese manufacturer of Baby-Star ramen snacks said Wednesday it has struck a deal with Carlyle Group that will give the U.S. private equity firm a controlling stake.

     While the price tag is undisclosed, Carlyle is expected to pay around 20 billion yen ($194 million) to acquire over 51% of voting rights in Oyatsu Company on Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

     Oyatsu President Yoshiaki Matsuda and other current members of management will continue to run the company.

     Baby-Star ramen snacks, which are made from the byproducts of noodle manufacturing, have been popular for over 50 years in Japan and are now exported to markets including China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Vietnam.

     "Making maximal use of Carlyle's global network, we will strengthen the base of our business and hasten our efforts overseas," Matsuda said. The company plans to establish its first overseas manufacturing base in Asia.

     Oyatsu generated sales of 18.2 billion yen in the year through July 2013. Established in 1948, the company is based in the city of Tsu in western Japan's Mie Prefecture and has a workforce of around 370.

(Nikkei)

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