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Finance

Investor PAG hunts for billion-dollar private equity deals in Japan

Asia-focused fund adds two specialists to scoop up noncore ops in corporate overhauls

"Carveouts" by corporations looking to make their operations leaner have become a promising area for private equity investors in Japan. (Photo by Tsuneyoshi Kenmochi)

TOKYO -- Hong Kong-based investment firm PAG looks to build up its private equity portfolio in Japan through deals worth hundreds of millions to a few billion dollars each, as Japanese companies increasingly divest noncore operations.

PAG welcomes two Japanese investment veterans in January as it pursues several hundred billion yen (100 billion yen equals $963 million) of such deals over the next few years.

PAG joins the growing ranks of investment funds seeing increased opportunities in Japan as big companies restructure to improve governance and adapt to pandemic-induced changes in society. "Carveouts" by corporations looking to make their operations leaner are one area named by KKR & Co. co-chief Henry Kravis as an investment target in Japan.

Koichi Ito, former managing director of investment banking and capital markets at Credit Suisse Securities (Japan), and Yoichi Tamagawa, previously managing director at Marunouchi Capital, will become co-representatives of PAG's Japanese private equity division. More personnel will be added to the team.

Having merged with Secured Capital Japan in 2011, PAG is known in the country as a major real estate investor. Its private equity portfolio in Japan is limited and includes the operator of theme park Universal Studios Japan.

The scaled-up private equity team will be able to make faster investment decisions on a bigger number of potential deals.

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