Carlyle to list Japanese restaurant chain operator Chimney in December


Carlyle is planning an initial public offering of its stake in Japanese restaurant chain operator Chimney Co, marking the Nasdaq-listed buyout firm’s third attempt to list a Japanese portfolio company this year.

The offering, which is scheduled for December, will see Carlyle sell 7.9 million – equivalent to 45 per cent of its holding – in Chimney Co, according to a statement released by Chimney.

Chimney will issue one million new shares, making the total size of the offer at JPY9.25bn ($116.5m), while Carlyle could sell as many as 1.32 million additional shares depending on market conditions.

Carlyle bought its stake in Chimney through a management buyout from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2009, in a deal that was reported to be worth about JPY21bn ($231.7m at the time).

In September Carlyle shelved plans to raise up to JPY43.4bn ($557m) through an IPO of Japanese ball bearing maker Tsubaki Nakashima, marking the second time this year the firm had cancelled plans to list Japanese assets due to weak market conditions.

The IPO, which would have been the largest in Japan since online gaming company Nexon placed JPY98bn worth of shares in December last year, was being handled by Nomura and Goldman Sachs.

The firm is one of just two global buyout houses to have raised funds to target investments in Japan next to Advent, which wound up its 2008 vintage Japan fund in December 2010 and closed its Japan office the following March after admitting to having failed to crack the Japanese market.

Carlyle Japan Partners II, which closed in July 2006 on $1.9bn from investors including CalPERS, Development Bank of Japan and Partners Group, in April was also forced to cancel its IPO of AvanStrate, a maker of glass used for liquid crystal displays, citing weak market conditions.

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