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Japan Post scraps Nomura Real Estate acquisition plan after postal group’s FY 2016 loss

Kyodo

Japan Post Holdings Co. said Monday it called off a plan to acquire Nomura Real Estate Holdings Inc. after the two companies apparently failed to agree a purchase price and other terms.

The postal group said May 12 that it is “considering various possibilities on forming new capital and business alliances”, following reports that it was looking to buy a stake in Nomura Real Estate to both strengthen its real estate business and compensate for its sluggish mainstay mail operation.

“We are not considering any acquisition of domestic real estate companies at this moment,” Japan Post said Monday in a statement. Nomura Real Estate also said in a separate statement it has stopped assessing the potential sale of its own stocks to Japan Post.

The move comes after Japan Post logged a group net loss of ¥28.98 billion ($260 million) for fiscal 2016, its first red ink since its privatization in 2007, due to a massive write-down of its Australian logistics arm, Toll Holdings Ltd., which it purchased in 2015.

Criticism from investors and government officials that the acquisition of Toll was too costly appears to have led Japan Post to adopt a more cautious approach in relation to the purchase of Nomura Real Estate.

Japan Post, formerly a government agency, was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2015 along with subsidiaries Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Insurance Co.

The Japanese government still holds around 80 percent of outstanding shares in Japan Post Holdings.

Faced with its slumping postal service business, Japan Post had considered the acquisition to gain Nomura’s expertise on real estate development as it explores ways to better utilize its post offices and other assets nationwide.

The announcements sent shares in Nomura Real Estate plummeting, while shares in Japan Post fell moderately.