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Hitachi considers selling chemical unit to global private equity firms

Hitachi, Hitachi Chemical. Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, KKR

Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, and KKR are some of the potential bidders for acquiring Hitachi Chemical

Global private equity firms Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, and KKR are some of the potential bidders for acquiring Hitachi Chemical, Reuters reported. Japanese multinational Hitachi plans to sell the majority of its stake in Hitachi Chemical and the process could begin this month.

According to Reuters, Hitachi has shortlisted a few ‘financial sponsors and strategic suitors’ to select a buyer for its medical unit. However, the three investment firms declined to comment on the matter.

Currently, Hitachi owns 51.2 percent of its chemical unit, which is estimated to worth $2.9 billion. The evaluation is based on Hitachi Chemical’s  $5.7 billion market value at Friday’s close.

Last year, Hitachi agreed to acquire a majority stake in ABB’s power grid unit. “Our shareholders have been with us for many years, they have been patient and have also had perseverance with us to see through the transformation,” ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Now, we let them participate in the results of their patience.”

Also, the company said last month that it would acquire JR Automation Technologies which is into intelligent automated manufacturing using industrial robots. The deal was valued at $1.4 billion.

Private equity investors have shown significant interest in Japan after Bain Capital’s $18 billion deal for Toshiba Corp’s memory chip unit in 2016. After that, several companies are expected to carry on a series of spinoffs to boost shareholder returns.

As of Thursday, Japan’s inbound deal value was at $6.7 billion, according to Refinitiv data. The figures grew seven times from the same period last year.

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