String of large IPOs powered by relistings


Japan has seen an increasing number of large initial public offerings this year.

The amount of money raised through IPOs so far this year has already reached about ¥520 billion, nearly matching the 2013 total of ¥550 billion, according to a major securities firm.

The figure may top ¥1 trillion this year, said an official at Nomura Securities Co.

The large IPOs this year have included Seibu Holdings Inc., which succeeded in relisting on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last week after Hitachi Maxell Ltd. and Japan Display Inc. went public last month.

Restaurant operator Skylark Co., staffing agency Recruit Holdings Co. and mobile messaging firm LINE Corp. are expected to follow suit.

Relisting is this year’s trend. Seibu returned to the market after Seibu Railway Co., now a core unit of the holding firm, was delisted in December 2004 for falsifying shareholders’ financial statements.

Hitachi Maxell relisted after going private in March 2010 as part of restructuring within the Hitachi Ltd. group.

Japan Display, created in 2012 through a merger of units of Hitachi and two other domestic electronics makers as part of restructuring efforts, managed to go public with support from Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a government-affiliated investment fund.

Improved earnings and a market upturn that has been ongoing since late 2012 made it easier for shareholders to accept relisting, said an official at Daiwa Securities Co.

However, the prices of these stocks have remained low. Hitachi Maxell and Japan Display have been below their IPO prices for more than a month since going public.

Seibu’s IPO price was lowered to ¥1,600 per share, against an initial estimate of ¥2,300, and closed at ¥1,770 on the first day of trading.

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