RPT-Japan's overseas M&A hot streak gains momentum

lunes 29 de septiembre de 2008 06:52 CEST

(Repeats to additional subscribers with no change to text) (For full coverage of Q3 M&A data, click [ID:nLO374398])

By David Dolan

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Japanese companies have already set a record for overseas acquisitions this year and the buying spree is expected to continue as cash-rich corporates in the world's No.2 economy take advantage of global credit turmoil.

Financial firms, drug companies and auto-parts makers are all likely to increase their overseas holdings as they move from domestic consolidation and look to expand beyond their shrinking home market, industry players said.

"It's very likely that we have entered an era where we're going to see significantly increased outbound M&A from Japan," said Ted Johnson, chair of the Tokyo office of law firm Paul Hastings.

"It will probably be more diverse than what you saw in the 1980s, which was very much directed toward the U.S. and was a lot of buying of real estate and setting up greenfield manufacturing operations."

Acquisitions abroad by Japanese companies already total $47.1 billion this year, according to Thomson Reuters data, breaking the full-year record of $44.2 billion set in 2006.

The figure does not include Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group's (8306.T: Cotización) deal last week to pay as much as $8.5 billion for up to 20 percent of embattled Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Cotización).

Nor does it include all of Nomura Holdings (8604.T: Cotización) activity last week. Japan's largest brokerage agreed to buy the operations of failed U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. No price was disclosed, but a source told Reuters Nomura will pay up to $525 million for the Asian business, which has a staff of 3,000.   Continuación...