The long goodbye: Japanese firms slowly sell assets

Japanese companies are finally willing to cut the cord and sell non-core assets to private equity firms. But supply is limited — and bidding looks likely to be ultra-competitive.

The long goodbye: Japanese firms slowly sell assets

When Mark Chiba flew to Wendy’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio in April for a meeting with the US firm’s top management to negotiate the combination of Wendy’s Japanese franchise with First Kitchen a subsidiary of the conservative, family-controlled Japanese conglomerate Suntory Holdings he knew it would be tough.

The relatively small and complicated deal, put together during secret meetings, required a sensitive balancing act. Chiba’s private equity firm, Longreach, needed to focus on bridging...

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