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Carlyle Group Inc. is eyeing large-scale business acquisitions, on top of investment in midsize firms, in Japan, planning to spend hundreds of billions of yen on each target, it was learned Tuesday.

The U.S. investment company believes that the novel coronavirus crisis and innovations brought about by advancing digital technologies will prompt Japanese conglomerates to sell subsidiaries or business divisions.

Also pushing Carlyle's move are dramatic changes in the business environment for many manufacturers, such as automakers and semiconductor producers, amid U.S.-China trade tensions and progress in digital technologies.

"We will boost investment of several hundred billion yen per case," Hiroyuki Otsuka, deputy head for Carlyle's operations in Japan, said.

"We will also be able to support corporations with annual sales of some ¥1 trillion," he added, expressing the group's hope to help facilitate the reorganization and revitalization of Japanese industries through business acquisitions.

On the possibility of promoting acquisitions in dining, tourism and other service sectors hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic, Otsuka said, "If we find companies with good management resources, we would like to help them."

Carlyle established a ¥258 billion investment fund focusing on Japanese businesses in March.

It is considering supporting target Japanese companies in expanding their businesses abroad using financial resources of large-scale funds for Asia and the West.

Also under consideration is cooperation with a Japanese government-backed fund, whose investment quota was increased recently in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Carlyle has invested in 26 companies in Japan, mainly midsize firms with annual sales of ¥20 billion to ¥100 billion, since its Japanese branch opened in 2000. Last year, it invested in Orion Breweries Ltd., based in the city of Urasoe in Okinawa.

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