MBK to invest in Japanese jewellery brand

MBK Partners is set to invest ¥7bn in Tasaki Shinju to help strengthen the company's domestic market position and expand its overseas operations. This will be the firm's second deal in Japan.

MBK Partners, the North Asia-focussed buyout firm, has agreed to invest ¥7 billion ($65 million; €41 million) through the subscription of newly issued convertible preferred shares in Tasaki Shinju, a Japanese jewellery manufacturer and distributor.

The firm will buy 35 million shares and will be the largest and controlling shareholder in Tasaki, following approval from the company’s shareholders in September this year. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of October 2008.

The firm told PEO that once the deal is completed, it will own approximately 49.55 percent of the voting rights in the listed company. Tasaki’s shares will continue to be listed following the deal.

Tasaki manufactures and distributes pearls both domestically and in other Asian markets. The investment will be used to expand the company’s business by strengthening its domestic market position and overseas expansion strategy. MBK said in a statement that the company will undertake various restructuring measures to increase its competitive advantage and profitability.

Kensuke Shizunaga, a partner of MBK Partners in Japan, said in a statement that MBK is “well-positioned to support the revitalisation of Tasaki”.

The investment was made out of MBK Partners’ debut fund which is focused on investments in Japan, Korea and Greater China. Previous investments from the fund include Yayoi, a Japanese business software firm; C&M, a Korean cable TV operator; Hanmi Capital, a Korean credit and finance company which it exited last year; Korea’s HK Mutual Savings Bank;  and AsiaPharm, a Singapore-listed pharmaceutical company.

MBK Partners is also reportedly one of the private equity firms vying for a 45 percent stake in HKT Group Holdings, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed telecommunications company PCCW.

Established in 2005, MBK Partners manages assets of about $2.5 billion. It has 24 investment professionals based out of offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong.