Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is representing U.S. buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. on a $4.5 billion acquisition of Japanese auto parts maker Calsonic Kansei Corp.
In a rare multibillion-dollar inbound private equity deal announced on Tuesday, KKR has agreed to buy a 41 percent stake in Calsonic Kansei from Nissan Motor and the remainder from the public market through a tender offer.
Based in Saitama in eastern Japan, Calsonic Kansei makes traditional car components including interiors, electronics, air conditioning units and exhaust systems. The company says it operates over 60 manufacturing and distribution sites globally .
The deal surpassed KKR’s 2013 $1.67 billion acquisition of a controlling stake in Panasonic Corp.’s health care division and became the private equity firm’s largest deal in Japan.
High-value private equity deals are unusual in Japan—in large part because Japan has a very different corporate culture that can make acquisitions less appealing to foreign companies. For example, this deep-rooted culture includes lifetime employment at most companies and discourages outside, independent directors who might focus more on shareholder returns.
Simpson Thacher is representing longtime client KKR with a team led by Tokyo office head David Sneider, who also advised the New York-based buyout house on the 2013 Panasonic deal, as well as on a $551 million, 2014 purchase of electronics maker Pioneer Corp.’s DJ equipment division.
Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is advising KKR on Japanese law.
Originally published on Asian Lawyer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.