KKR puts planned buyout of Hitachi Kokusai on hold: Reuters


U.S. buyout firm KKR has put on hold a planned acquisition of Hitachi Ltd’s chip making equipment and video solution business, the companies said, citing issues over the terms of the deal.

KKR in April agreed to buy Hitachi Kokusai Electric in a deal valuing the company at about $2.3 billion and was due to buy up to 48.33 percent of the company at 2,503 yen per share through a tender offer as a first step in the process. The tender offer was due to start as early as Thursday.

But a third-party committee reported to board of directors at Hitachi Kokusai Electric that it no longer supported the terms of the planned transaction which could be disadvantageous to minority shareholders of Hitachi Kokusai.

On April 26, when KKR announced the deal, Hitachi Kokusai shares closed at 2,675 yen, 6.9 percent higher than the KKR’s offer price. The stock has since risen above that level and closed at 2,894 yen on Wednesday.
KKR said the third-party committee “finds it difficult at the current time to maintain its opinion that the legitimacy and propriety of the tender offer price and share repurchase price are ensured…”

As part of the deal, Hitachi Kokusai was also planning to buy a 51.67 percent stake held by its parent Hitachi at 1,710 yen a share and then cancel the shares.

KKR is also planning to sell a 40 percent stake in Hitachi Kokusai’s video solutions business to Hitachi and a Japanese investment fund, Japan Industrial Partners Inc.

KKR said that it would continue discussions with Hitachi Kokusai, Hitachi and Japan Industrial Partners on its plans regarding the tender offer, whether to go ahead with it and its possible timing.

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