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Blackstone to Buy E-Comic Provider in Its Biggest Private-Equity Deal in Japan

By Kosaku Narioka


Blackstone plans to buy Japanese e-comic and information-technology services company Infocom, in its largest private-equity deal ever in the country.

The U.S. investment company said its funds and vehicles would start a tender offer for shares of Infocom, a unit of Japanese chemical company Teijin.

Blackstone entities would spend 141.39 billion yen ($896.4 million), or Y6,060 a share, to acquire a 42% stake from shareholders, it said.

Partly using funds provided by Blackstone, Infocom will also buy back the 58% stake held by Teijin following the tender offer, the U.S. company said. Teijin's 31.76 million shares would be worth Y134.38 billion at the buyback price of Y4,231 apiece. The tender offer period runs from June 19 to July 31.

The planed acquisition is Blackstone's third private-equity investment in Japan announced over the past six months.

"This is a continuation of our commitment to investing in high quality, growth-oriented businesses in Japan and building them into market leaders," said Atsuhiko Sakamoto, head of private equity for Japan at Blackstone.

Infocom's board supported Blackstone's plan and recommended that its shareholders tender their shares.

Shares closed 5.1% higher on Tuesday at Y6,030, prior to the announcement of the tender offer. Infocom's share price has more than doubled in the year to date, following media reports of a possible buyout earlier this year.

The company's net profit climbed 85% to Y6.61 billion for the fiscal year ended March, as revenue grew 20% to Y84.45 billion. Its comic and other consumer technology business generates more than two-thirds of the company's operating profit.

Its Mecha Comic platform is one of Japan's top providers of online comics and is popular among female readers.

Teijin said in May that it would carry out strategic options for unprofitable or non-core businesses so it can invest for growth and reward shareholders.

The chemical company runs material, fiber and health-care businesses, in addition to its information-technology business, which is the smallest by revenue.


--Rthvika Suvarna in Singapore contributed to this article.


Write to Kosaku Narioka at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 18, 2024 07:09 ET (11:09 GMT)

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