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NEW YORK (Kyodo) Two U.S. investment firms, Cerberus Partners LP and Providence Equity Partners Inc., will likely launch a $15 billion bid to take over Vodafone Group PLC’s Japanese subsidiary, according to U.S. media reports.

The takeover bid is expected to be a leveraged buyout, that would use the assets of the Vodaphone unit as collateral to finance the purchase. If successful, it would be one of the largest such deals ever struck in East Asia, according to the reports.

As of Wednesday night here, the takeover proposal had yet to be presented to the British mobile communications company, according to sources.

Cerberus has made a number of high-profile acquisitions of Japanese companies, including Aozora Bank and Seibu Holdings Inc.

Providence specializes in telecommunications investments, including in wireless communications companies.

Earlier this month, Internet and financial services firm Softbank Corp. said it was in talks with Vodafone about acquiring a controlling stake in Vodafone K.K., the group’s Japanese unit.