Nikkei: Private-equity firm Nikko Antfactory to fetch up to 15 billion yen
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- In a relatively small move that could be the harbinger of larger moves to come, Citigroup Inc.'s Nikko Citi Holdings Inc. will sell a group investment firm as soon as next month, according to a published report.
The planned sale of Nikko Antfactory KK has sparked speculation that Citigroup will speed up the sale of its non-core operations in Japan, business daily Nikkei said on its Web site in a reported dated Wednesday.
Although the U.S. financial giant has not changed its decision to position Nikko Citi Holdings at the center of its Japanese strategy, it has been unloading non-core operations.
It has already effectively decided to withdraw from the consumer finance business and is considering selling off shares in Nikko Asset Management Co., taking the promising subsidiary public, the Nikkei report said.
Citigroup said in May that it would slash more than a fifth of the assets currently on the balance sheet over the next three years in a bid to shore up its capital base and divest itself of riskier investments. At the time, the company announced plans to sell about $100 billion in non-core businesses.
Nikko Antfactory will be sold for up to 15 billion yen ($140 million), with Norinchukin Bank and Mitsubishi Corp.
set to buy nearly 60% of outstanding shares in Nikko Antfactory.
A group of Nikko Antfactory executives, including Chief Executive Officer Kazunori Ozaki, will own a stake of more than one-third, giving them the right to veto major decisions at shareholders meetings. The remaining stake of nearly 10% will be kept by Nikko Citi Holdings, Nikkei said.Nikko Antfactory was established in 2000 via a merger of Nikko Cordial Corp. and a U.K. private-equity investment firm. It concentrates on venture capital and private-equity investing, and has a balance of about 130 billion yen