Japanese overseas M&As hit record levels in fiscal 2014


Japanese companies’ mergers and acquisitions overseas hit record levels both in number and value in fiscal 2014, which ended Tuesday, M&A consulting firm Recof Corp. said.

Despite the yen’s weakness, which makes Japanese overseas acquisitions expensive, companies rich in cash due to improved earnings have been actively seeking growth opportunities in foreign markets.

The number of deals rose 5.3 percent from the previous year to 555, setting a record for the fourth consecutive year.

The combined value grew 16.3 percent to ¥8.09 trillion, eclipsing the previous record of ¥7.29 trillion in fiscal 2008.

In the three months ended last month, the value of Japanese companies’ overseas M&As doubled from a year before to ¥4.52 trillion.

Deals in Asia accounted for 219 of the fiscal 2014 total, the largest proportion. They included ¥1.2 trillion in joint investment by trader Itochu Corp. and a Thai conglomerate in China’s CITIC Group Corp.

The combined value of the deals in Asia jumped 74.5 percent.

The number of deals in North America rose to a 24-year high of 160, although the value was down 27.1 percent.

The value of deals in Europe climbed 27.5 percent to a three-year high of ¥2.27 trillion, while the number rose slightly to 121.