Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. announced Tuesday it will raise its equity stake in Acom Co. to more than 15 percent, a deal that effectively puts the consumer financing firm under the banking group’s umbrella.

Mitsubishi Tokyo said it will spend a combined 150 billion yen in April to buy 14 million new shares to be issued by Acom in a third-party allotment, along with 6.73 million shares mainly from current Acom shareholders.

The share purchase will expand the Mitsubishi Tokyo banking group’s equity stake in Acom to about 15 percent from the current 2.2 percent, currently held by Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp.

The deal marks the first time for a major Japanese bank to bring a major consumer financing company under its wing.

Mitsubishi Tokyo apparently aims to expand its retail operations by incorporating Acom, Japan’s No. 2 consumer financing firm, into its group. Mitsubishi Tokyo President Shigemitsu Miki told a news conference the deal will be “the core of our efforts to reinforce our retail banking business.”

The deal will also allow Acom to be consolidated on Mitsubishi Tokyo’s books. This means Acom’s relatively strong earnings, mostly generated from unsecured loans to individuals, can be reflected in Mitsubishi Tokyo’s consolidated earnings results.

Under the deal, Mitsubishi Tokyo expects Acom to complement the operations of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Cash One Ltd., a struggling consumer finance unit.


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