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Japanese investment fund Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko Ltd. plans to acquire the protein brand DNS from Dome Corp., which is licensed to sell Under Armour sports gear in Japan, informed sources said Sunday.

NSSK plans to acquire Dome’s sports nutrition products business, including the second largest protein brand in Japan, for several tens of billions of yen, the sources said.

Dome will focus on Under Armour operations. The company had ¥37.6 billion in sales and ¥2.3 billion in ordinary loss last year.

There may be a series of moves among Japanese companies to sell noncore operations to investment funds in a rapidly changing business environment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NSSK aims to boost the earnings of DNS to sell or bring the brand public for profits in about five years.

The acquisition of DNS is part of NSSK’s strategy of focusing its investment on health care and consumer goods operations at small and midsize companies.

Protein sales in Japan reportedly expanded by about 10 pct from the previous year to some ¥50 billion in 2019. Meiji Co.’s SAVAS brand leads the market.

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