Japanese acquisition boom of European companies
European technology, talent and market access
While EU investment in Japan is steady, Japanese direct investments in Europe are rapidly increasing by about EURO 10 billion per year, and amount to about EURO 160 billion in total, almost twice as high as European investments in Japan.
So, the reality is that Europe is about twice as attractive for Japanese direct investments than in the opposite direction.
Japan-EU investment stock
Japan-EU investment flow
Japan to Europe M&A register: listing of Japanese investments in and acquisitions of European companies
- NEC to acquire Denmark’s largest IT company KMD Holding ApS for about 8 billion Danish Kroner (approx. US$ 1.2 billion). Announced 27 December 2018, to close at the end of February 2019. More details here.
- Yusen Logistics places Transfreight Automotive Logistics Europe, located in Burnaston, Derby, UK, into voluntary liquidation on 12 July 2019 to shut down the UK part of company while expanding in other areas in Europe. Transfreight Automotive Logistics Europe main business is TOYOTA’s Burnaston plant.
- Nidec acquires Systeme+Steuerungen GmbH (Germany)
- Nidec acquires DESCH Antriebstechnik GmbH (Germany)
- Asahi Kasei Medical acquires Virusure, a Vienna (Austria) based biosafety testing service provider, for details see: https://eu-japan.com/2019/10/asahi-kasei-virusure/
- World’s largest air-conditioning equipment maker Daikin acquires Austrian AHT Cooling systems for €881m (approx. US$ 1.01 billion, 114.5 billion YEN) Announced Monday 26 November 2018. More details here.
- Nidec acquires CIMA S.p.A. (Italy)
- Nidec acquires MS-Graessner GmbH & CO KG (Germany)
- Dentsu acquires 90% controlling stake of Gleam Futures using Dentsu Aegis Network as a cultural bridge. Announced 20 June 2017. More details here.
- Hitachi Chemical acquires ISOLTE from private equity fund HQ Equita. Announced on 27 April 2017. More details here
- Sanofi acquires SSP (エスエス製薬株式会社). Transaction on 1 Jan 2017. More details here
- Japanese joint venture (Kansai Electric Power, trading company Sojitz, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & FInance) invest €300m in Irish wind power plants details here
- Yusen Logistics acquires Transfreight Europe from Mitsui & Co Ltd
- Nidec acquires Emerson Electric Co.’s motor and electric power generation business in France
- Nidec acquires LGB Elettropompe S.R.L. (Italy)
- Nidec acquires Secop Group (Germany)
- Nidec acquires driveXpert GmbH (Germany)
- SoftBank acquires ARM Holdings for £24.0 billion (US$ 31.4 billion). The acquisition closed on 5 September 2016. Details here.
- Asahi Group Holdings acquire five east European beer brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev for €7.3 billion. Details here.
- Asahi Group Holdings acquires Peroni Nastro Azurro, Grolsch and Meantime for €2550 million. Detail here.
- Nidec acquires E.C.E. S.R.L. (Italy)
- Nidec acquires ANA IMEP SA (Romania)
- Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd opens £82 million train factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK. Details and analysis here.
- Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company to acquire UK insurance company Amlin for 2.5 billion pounds (approx. US$ 3.85 billion or ¥642 billion). Details here.
- Nihon Keizai Shinbun Corporation (株式会社日本経済新聞社, Nikkei Inc.) acquires Financial Times for £ 844 million (approx. US$ 1.3 billion), £ 94 million more than Axel Springer’s offer of £ 750 million. Details here.
- SoftBank acquires an additional 22.7% of Finnish game maker Supercell details here.
- Canon announces tender offer for all outstanding shares of Swedish surveillance leader Axis AB. Canon‘s offer amounts to approximately SEK 23.6 billion (US$ 2.8 billion). For details.
- Sosei Group acquires Heptares Therapeutics Ltd for up to US$ 400 million. Details here.
- Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc (損保ジャパン日本興亜ホールディングス株式会社) acquires 7.8% in the French reinsurer Scor SE and plans to increase investment stake to 15%. Details here.
- LINE Corporation acquires Bristol, UK based streaming music service MixRadio from Microsoft. Details here.
- Hitachi and Finmeccanica agree for Hitachi to acquire the rail manufacturer AnsaldoBreda SpA and 40% of the signaling and rail system company Ansaldo STS SpA. Hitachi is expected to acquire the remaining 60% of Ansaldo STS SpA in a tender offer. Total estimated acquisition costs are about € 2 billion (US$ 2.2 billon). Details here.
- NTT Communications to acquire German data center operator e-shelter facility services GmbH for approximately YEN 100 billion (US$ 840 million). Details here.
- Nikon launches offer to acquire Scottish retina imaging company Optos plc for approximately UKL 250.48 million (US$ 387 million). Details here.
- Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) partners with AXA Group and invests a 1% stake in AXA for approx. US$ 0.62 billion. Details here.
- Brother Industries to acquire Domino Printing Sciences plc for UKL 1.03 billion (= US$ 1.5 billion) Details here.
- Diesel engine maker Yanmar to partner with and acquire 70% of generator maker Himoinsa details here.
- Nidec acquires Italian power generator manufacturer Motortecnica s.r.l. details here.
- Nidec acquires German automotive pump manufacturer Geräte- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt details here.
- Recruit acquires London based EdTech venture Quipper for US$ 39 million details here.
- Rakuten acquires virtual mannequin venture fits.me details here.
- Dentsu acquires Israeli digital performance marketing agency abaGaga details here.
- Dentsu acquires Mindworks – “the fastest growing digital agency in Greece” read for details.
- Toray acquires 55% of Italian fiber manufacturer Delta-Tech SpA including Delta-Preg SpA Read the details.
- Nidec acquires Arisa SA in Spain
- Nidec acquires EMG Elettromeccanica SRL (Italy)
- Rakuten acquires Viber Media (incorporated in Cyprus, development based in Israel, CEO Marco Talmon) US$ 900 million
- Rakuten Marketing acquires Brighton (UK) based marketing attribution specialist DC Storm. We estimate that Rakuten Marketing paid on the order of US$ 100 million for this acquisition. Details here.
- Dentsu Aegis acquires Socializer Group (Poland, social media services, apps and media development) more here.
- Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering Co., Ltd. acquires 100% of the shares of Fisia Babcock Environment GmbH (FBE) from Impregilo International Infrastructures N.V., a Dutch company wholly owned by Salini Impregilo S.p.A. (Milan, Italy) for EURO 139.3 million
- SONY to acquire CSC Media Group (UK) for UKL 107 million, announced June 26, 2014.
- Toshiba acquires and additional 10% of NuGeneration Ltd from GDF Suez, making NuGeneration a joint-venture between Toshiba (60%) and GDF Suez (40%). NuGeneration is a nuclear power company planning a 3.4 GigaWatt nuclear power plant in Cumbria (UK).
- Panasonic invests in Spanish car parts maker Ficosa to jointly develop self-driving car technology. Panasonic invests approximately US$ 275 million for an approximately 50% stake (September 26, 2014). For details click here.
- JFE Engineering acquires boiler, biomass and waste-to-energy plant maker Standardkessel Power Systems Holding GmbH for approximately YEN 10 billion (US$ 87 million). For details click here.
- Hitachi Zosen Inova AG (HZI AG) acquires AXPO Kompogas Engineering AG (Komeng). AXPO Kompogas Engineering AG (Komeng) is an EPC planning and constructing dry fermentation plants which produce biogas and compost from biological waste using the Kompogas process. Read details here.
- Hitachi acquires Valcom S.r.l.. Valcom S.r.l. is an Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) company based in Milano (Italy). Read more details here.
- Lixil and Development Bank of Japan acquire Grohe AG (Germany) (bathroom fittings maker) from TPG Capital and Credit Suisse EURO 3.06 Billion (US$ 4.2 Billion), for details read here.
- Yaskawa Electric Corporation acquires The Switch Engineering Oy, manufacturer of generators and power converters for wind turbines and other applications. Details here.
- Dentsu acquires German performance and search agency explido details here.
- Dentsu acquires French mobile advertising agency Lesmobilizers SAS. read more here.
- Video surveillance specialist Milestone Systems A/S acquired by Canon read more here
- ORIX Corporation acquires 90.00001% of Robeco Groep NV (which was a subsidiary of Rabobank) EURO 1.94 Billion (US$ 2.6 Billion). Rabobank retains 10% of shares, and receives EURO 150 million shares in ORIX. Robeco Groep NV manages EURO 189 Billion in assets.
- Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd acquires Lucozade and Ribena from GlaxoSmithKline plc (UK) UKL 1.35 Billion Pounds (US$ 2.2 Billion), completion Dec 2013
- SoftBank and GungHo acquire 51% of Supercell (Finland) details here.
- Sompo Japan (part of Japan’s NKSJ Insurance Holdings) acquires the UK reinsurer Canopius Group Ltd from Bregel Capital UKL 594 million (US$ 972 million). See our report: “Insurance Group NKSJ Holdings globalizes by acquiring UK reinsurer Canopius Group Ltd.“
- Dentsu Aegis Media Italy acquires a 70% stake in Simple Agency (Italian digital marketing agency) more here.
- Toshiba acquires 50% of NuGeneration Ltd from Iberdrola for UKL 85 million (US$ 146 million). NuGeneration is a nuclear power company planning a 3.4 GigaWatt nuclear power plant in Cumbria (UK).
- Minebea KK acquires Cerobear GmbH (June 30, 2013): Minebea KK (TSE Code: 6479) (ミネベア株式会社) acquires the German ball bearing manufacturer Cerobear GmbH via Minebea’s fully owned US subsidiary New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc. (NHBB). Cerobear GmbH was founded in 1989 as a spin-off of the Fraunhofer-Instituts für Produktionstechnologie IPT.
- Minebea KK acquires APB Service GmbH (May 6, 2013): Minebea KK (TSE Code: 6479) (ミネベア株式会社) acquires the assets of the Austrian company APB Service GmbH, based in Ebensee, Austria, via Minebea’s subsidiary myonic GmbH.
- Panasonic acquires Aupeo to stream audio into internet connected cars. For details click.
- Integralis AG renamed NTT Com Security AG NTT Communications had acquired 78.4% of Integralis AG in a tender offer in October 2009. Details here.
- NTT DATA completes the acquisition of itelligence AG (“We make the most of SAP solutions!”). Total acquisition price is on the order of € 150 million. itelligence AG becomes a 100% subsidiary of NTT DATA, forming NTT DATA Business Solutions. Itelligence AG itself acquires a number of SAP solution providers, and expands successfully. Details here.
- NTT Docomo acquires Austrian e-commerce and m-commerce trading solutions platform provider fine trade gmbh for “several tens of millions of Euros”. Read details here.
- NTT Communications acquires 91.2% of Collaboration-as-a-Service company Arkadin at a valuation of approximately US$ 463 million. Read details here.
- Hitachi Consulting acquires Celerant Consulting (announced January 2, 2013), founded as Cambridge Management Consulting Limited. Read details here.
- Japan’s giant advertising group Dentsu acquires Romania’s digital agency Kinecto. Details here.
- Dentsu acquires Dutch SNS advertising firm Social Embassy BV. more here.
- Dentsu invests in Spanish full-service media agency Ymedia SL. more here.
- Dentsu invests in Spanish digital agency Wink TTD SL more here.
- Mitsui Chemicals acquires dental materials specialist Heraeus Kulzer GmbH for € 450 million details here
- Dentsu acquires Aegis Group plc US$ 4.3 Billion. Creating “dentsu AEGIS network”. For details read our blog: “Dentsu acquires Aegis“
- Toyota Tsusho Corporation invests in CFA SA US$ 2.2 Billion
- Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) announces UKL 267 million additional investments at the Swindon manufacturing site. Total investment by Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) at the Swindon site estimated to be UKL 1.5 billion.
- Hitachi “Inspire the next” opens European Rail Research Centre (ERRC) in London. Read details.
- Hitachi acquires The Railway Engineering Company (TRE) for UKL 25.5 million, announced on December 20, 2012. For more details read here
- Hitachi acquires Horizon Nuclear Power from Germany’s RWE and EON AG for UKL 696 million (US$ 1.2 billion). Horizon Nuclear Power is a nuclear power company planning to build nuclear power plants with up to 6 reactors delivering 5.4 GigaWatt nuclear power at two locations: Wylfa Newydd (in Wales) and Oldbury in UK. Details here.
- NTT Docomo acquires Buongiorno SpA for € 209 million. Details here.
- Rakuten acquires French e-publishing tool maker Aquafadas via KOBO Details here.
- Rakuten acquires Barcelona based internet video-on-demand service Wuaki.tv Details here.
- Rakuten acquires Beauvais (France) based logistics specialist Alpha-Direct-Services (ADS) Details here.
- Nidec acquires Italian industrial motor maker Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali S.p.A Details here.
- NTT Docomo increases investment in net mobile AG by up to € 28.4 million, for net mobile AG to acquire the German bank Bankverein Werther AG. Details here.
- Takeda Pharmaceutical acquires Nycomed International Management GmbH (Switzerland) EURO 10 Billion (US$ 14 Billion)
- Landis & Gyr AG Special Purpose Vehicle (Toshiba (60%) and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) (40%)) acquires Landis & Gyr AG (Switzerland) US$ 2.3 Billion. For details see here.
- SONY Corporation acquires outstanding 50% of SONY Ericsson Mobile Communications (UK) US$ 1.5 Billion. As a result SONY Corporation owns 100% of SONY Ericsson Mobile Communications, which is renamed SONY Mobile Communications
- Lixil acquires Permasteelisa (Italy) for €573 million.
- Dentsu acquires Steak Group (UK, digital media group) US$ xx million.
- Dentsu acquires Adjug (UK, advertising exchange) US$ xx million.
- Itochu acquires Kwik-Fit UKL 637 million (US$ 1.04 billion), including settlement of UKL 457 million in debt, from the French Private Equity company PAI Partners
- NTT Data acquires 100% of Value Team SpA for about € 250 million from Value Partners. Details here.
- Rakuten acquires 80% of German e-commerce platform Tradoria Details here
- Rakuten acquires Jersey based UK e-commerce portal Play.com for UKL 25 million (US$ 40 million). Details here.
- Murata acquires MEMS sensor manufacturer VTI Technologies Oy. Details here.
- DAIWA Securities Capital Markets invests in KBC Bonds and Equity Derivatives (Belgium) US$ 1 Billion
- SONY divests “Sony Barcelona Tec” to Spanish car parts maker Ficosa International SA and infrastructure company Comsa Emte SL, announced on September 7, 2010. “Sony Barcelona Tec” was manufacturing SONY LCD TVs for the European market. For details click here.
- Hitachi Zosen acquires AE&E Inova Holding AG, renamed to Hitachi Zosen Inova AG (abbreviated: HZI AG). AE&E Inova Holding AG developed from a department of the Gesellschaft der Ludwig von Roll’schen Eisenwerke for thermal waste treatment. Hitachi Zosen Inova AG is focused on: “Waste is our energy!” Read details here.
- Rakuten acquires French ecommerce portal site PriceMinister.com for €200 million (approx. US$ 250 million). Details here.
- Nidec acquires home appliance business of ACC Corporation (Italy)
- NTT Communications acquired 78.4% of Integralis AG for € 59.1 million to offer managed security services. Details here.
- NTT Docomo acquires 79.59% of Germany’s net mobile AG for € 38.9 million. Read details.
- Canon acquires OCE NV (Netherlands) US$ 0.95 Billion
- Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd acquires Orangina Schweppes Group YEN 300 Billion (US$ 3 Billion)
- Suzuki Motors acquires Volkswagen (VW) shares for EURO 770 million as part of a Volkswagen-Suzuki alliance. This alliance ran into management difficulties, and Suzuki is asking for this alliance to be dissolved. The dispute came into public view via a blog posting in Japanese language by Suzuki CEO, Mr Osamu Suzuki.
- Minebea KK acquires myonic Holding GmbH (March 5, 2009): Minebea KK (TSE Code: 6479) (ミネベア株式会社) acquires myonic Holding GmbH, based in Leutkirch, Germany.
- Square Enix acquires Eidos Interactive for £84.3 million Read details.
- Kyocera acquires Triumph-Adler Read details.
- NTT Data acquires 72.9% of outstanding shares of Cirquent GmbH. Cirquent resulted from BMW’s IT department, and thus BMW is now NTT Data’s largest customer in Europe. Details here.
- TDK acquires passive electronics component maker EPCOS for YEN 200 Billion (approx. US$ 1.859 billion) (July 31, 2008) Details here.
- Suzuki Metal Industry Co Ltd acquires Swedish valve spring wire maker Garphyttan Wire for SEK 800 million. Details here.
- Sumitomo Chemical acquires Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) for US$ 285 million. Read details here.
- Olympus UK Acquisitions Ltd acquires Gyrus Group plc US$ 2.2 Billion
- Tokyo Marin Invest (Bermuda) invests in Kiln plc US$ 0.9 Billion
- NTT DATA enters into business partnership with itelligence AG “We make the most of SAP solutions!” Details here.
- Yagi Tsusho acquires the UK apparel company Mackintosh. More here.
- Yamaha acquires Austrian piano maker Bösendorfer More here.
- Yamaha Motors and Mitsui Group establish Yamaha Motor Middle Europe B.V. (YMME). for details see: https://eu-japan.com/2007/11/yamaha-motor-middle-europe/
- JTI Management Ltd. invests in Gallaher Group plc (UK) US$ 19.1 Billion
- Nidec acquires Valeo SA’s motor and actuator business division for details see: https://eu-japan.com/2006/11/nidec-valeo-motors-actuators/
- Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd (NSG) acquires Pilkington plc (UK) US$ 4 Billion, read report on presentation by Pilkington plc CEO, and later NSG Group KK CEO, Stuart Chambers “Four critical factors for Japanese corporates making major international acquisitions” (on October 3, 2008)
- Four-Side.com Ltd invests in iTouch plc (UK) US$ 0.3 Billion
- Asahi Kasei Fibers Corporation (AKF) of Osaka, Japan, acquires the Dorlastan fibers business of Lanxess Corporation. Lanxess Dorlastan fibers business includes production sites at Dormagen (Germany), and in Bushy Park (South Carolina, USA). Read more details.
- Investor Group invests in DFS Furniture plc US$ 0.7 Billion
- Mitsubishi Securities invests in Tokyo-Mitsubishi International plc US$ 0.54 Billion
- Nomura International plc invests in Center Parks NV Holiday (Netherlands) US$ 0.5 Billion
- Shin-Etsu Chemical invests in Clariant Cellulose Ethers Division (Switzerland) US$ 0.27 Billion
- Sanwa Shutter Corporation invests in Novoferm GmbH (Austria) US$ 0.2 Billion
- Nikko Principal Invest invests in UK Healthcare Properties US$ 0.4 Billion
- Terumo Corp. invests in Vascutek Ltd (Centerpulse AG) US$ 170 million
- Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) invests in Vossloh Elektro GmbH US$ 160 million
- Grand Hotels Acquisition Company 1 invests in Le Meridien Hotels US$ 2.7 Billion
- Bede Acquisition Co Ltd invests in Bass plc Pubs US$ 0.9 Billion
- Nissan Motor acquires 15% of Renault SA (France) (nonvoting shares) for EURO 1.4 billion, as a consequence of the Renault-Nissan Alliance which started on March 27, 1999.
- Asahi Glass invests in Glaverbel SA (Belgium) US$ 0.3 Billion
- NTT Docomo invests in KPN Mobile NV (Netherlands) US$ 3.6 Billion
- NTT Docomo invests in a 20% share of Hutchinson 3G UK Holdings, July 2000 UKL 1.2 billion (= US$ 1.8 Billion), sold for UKL 120 million (US$ 180 million) in May 2004.
- Prestige Acquisitions invests in Powel Duffryn plc US$ 0.75 Billion
- Toyota Automatic Loomworks invests in BT Industries AB (Sweden) US$ 1.2 Billion
- Takata acquires Petri AG. Takata (producer of airbags, safety belts and children’s seats) acquires the German airbag producer Petri AG, headquartered in Aschaffenburg.
- Mitsui & Co Ltd (70%) and Fujitrans (30%) establish Transfreight Automotive Logistics Europe.
- Location: Lancashire (UK).
- Business: distribution and logistics of automotive parts for Toyota
- Japan Tobacco (JT) invests in RJ Reynolds International US$ 7.8 Billion
- NEC invests in NEC Packard Bell Europe BV US$ 0.45 Billion
- Future Rentals plc invests in Thorn plc US$ 1.6 Billion
- Tudor Street Acquisitions plc invests in Inn Partnership (Grenalis) US$ 0.6 Billion
- Nikko Europe plc invests in Roadchef plc US$ 0.3 Billion
- Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) invests in PolyGram NV (Netherlands) US$ 0.8 Billion
- Shin-Etsu invests in Rovin NV (Netherlands) US$ 0.3 Billion
- Glaverbel SA invests in PPG Industries European Glass (Belgium) US$ 0.3 Billion
- Grand Pub Ltd (Nomura) invests in Inntrepreneur, Spring Inns US$ 2 Billion
- Grand Bookmaking Company invests in William Hill US$ 1.1 Billion
- ICL (Fujitsu) invests in BG plc Telecommunications US$ 260 million
- Toray Industries invests in Rhone-Poulenc Films US$ 160 million
- RICOH acquires NRG Group PLC (formerly Gestetner Holdings plc) US$ 0.570 Billion
- Toyota invests in Amer Group (Finland) US$ 180 million
- Suzuki invests in Heron Suzuki US$ 60 million
- Nomura Securities invests in VUB Kupon (Slovakia) US$ 70 million
- Toray Industries invests in Alcanatara (Enichem SpA) US$ 120 million
- ELCO Corporation (Kyocera) invests in Shekem Ltd (Israel) US$ 50 million
- Itochu acquires UK tyre retailer Stapletons
- C Itoh invests in North Sea Hudson, Hutton, North West Fields US$ 100 million
- Nissan Europe invests in Nissan Motor Iberica US$ 60 million
- ICL (Fujitsu) acquires Technology plc US$ 80 million
- Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) starts producing Honda Accord in Swindon
- ICL (Fujitsu) acquires Nokia Data US$ 0.4 Billion
- San East UK plc acquires DAKS Simpson Group plc US$ 0.2 Billion
- Yamanouchi (today Astellas after merger with Fujisawa) acquires the pharmaceutical division of Royal Gist Brocades
- Fujitsu acquires ICL (International Computers Ltd.) US$ 1.4 Billion
- Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) starts production at the engine plant
- Toyota Manufacturing UK established in December 1989. Manufacturing planting Burnaston, Derbyshire, completes first Carina car on December 16, 1992.
- Seibu Season Group acquires IHC (Intercontinental Hotels Corporation) US$ 2.3 Billion (Seibu Season Group divests IHC in March 1998 to the UK Brewery group Bass).
- Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) established
- Nissan begins building car plant in Sunderland
- Nissan announces plans to build a car plant in UK
- Mitsui & Co Ltd establishes Subaru Benelux
- SONY establishes Barcelona Technology Center (SONY Barcelona TEC) in January 1973. In August 2010 SONY-Barcelona-TEC had about 1100 employees and was manufacturing LCD TVs for the European market. The site area is about 206,000 square meters, is located at Viladecavalls near Barcelona and can be seen here on Google Maps. In 2010, SONY sold the Barcelona TEC to the Spanish Companies Ficosa and Comsa Emte SL, read details here.
- 1971-1972 Yamaha Motors and Mitsui & Co. establish Yamaha Motor Europe (YME) in Germany and the UK to import Yamaha Motor products in Europe, see: https://eu-japan.com/1971/01/yamaha-motors-europe/
- Yamaha Motor Europe NV (YME) founded in 1968 as regional headquarters in Europe for Yamaha Motor Company. https://www.yamaha-motor.eu/ie/en/corporate/
- YKK (吉田工業株式会社, Yoshida Manufacturing Corporation) YKK (U.K.) LIMITED founded in Runcorn UK.
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