Japan Achievement Awards 2009: Day 1

We reveal the best deals of 2009 in our fourth annual Achievement Awards for Japan.
Kirin's takeover of Lion Nathan is awarded as Deal of the Year
Kirin's takeover of Lion Nathan is awarded as Deal of the Year

Japan's financial markets were characterised by desperate and defensive deals in 2009. Our awards reflect this, to be sure, but we have also tried to recognise deals that were positive or showed long-term strategic vision.

Kirin's acquisition of Lion Nathan in Australia was just such a deal. This A$3.3 billion ($3 billion) acquisition is part of a clear strategic direction that the company has followed during the past few years -- to escape Japan's tortoise economy and capture growth overseas. The company also made a $1.5 billion investment in San Miguel's beer business in the Philippines in 2009, and although a domestic merger with Suntory recently failed to materialise, Kirin was right to pursue it.

Few other transactions told such a good story, with the possible exception of our most innovative deal -- Kenedix's accelerated bookbuild and convertible exchange offer. Plenty of bankers can claim to have reduced their clients to tears in 2009, but with this clever solution, UBS had the unusual distinction of making a client cry with gratitude after his company was rescued from certain bankruptcy.

The bleak conditions generated activity in some cases -- all three of Japan's megabanks tapped equity investors for fresh capital, for example -- but the overall uncertainty served mostly to dampen deal-making, particularly in the primary markets.

As such, we have chosen not to give an award for best IPO this year, though we commend the banks that pitched for it. One contender was the ¥2.5 billion ($28 million) offering by Taiko Pharmaceutical, which makes a popular diarrhoea remedy. A banker familiar with the product assured us that it is a "solid" company, but overall the deal flow in 2009 was just too thin to merit singling out any individual IPOs. In all, the primary equity market raised less than $600 million last year and only one deal raised (marginally) more than $100 million.

We will publish our house awards tomorrow and the full write-ups of all our awards will be published in a supplement to the May issue of FinanceAsia magazine. The date and venue of the awards presentation will be announced shortly.


DEAL OF THE YEAR
Kirin's $3 billion acquisition of Lion Nathan
Advisers to Kirin: J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank
Advisers to Lion Nathan: Caliburn Partnership, Lonergan Edwards & Associates


BEST SECONDARY EQUITY OFFERING
Mitsubishi UFJ's ¥1.1 trillion follow-on
Bookrunners: Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ, Nomura, Daiwa

BEST M&A DEAL
Kirin's $3 billion acquisition of Lion Nathan
Advisers to Kirin: J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank
Advisers to Lion Nathan: Caliburn Partnership, Lonergan Edwards & Associates

BEST PRIVATE EQUITY DEAL
¥1 trillion Sanyo Electric exit
Advisers to the acquirer: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nomura
Advisers to the target: Daiwa, Goldman Sachs, GCA Savvian Advisors


BEST INTERNATIONAL BOND
JBIC's $2.5 billion two-year guaranteed bond
Bookrunners: Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley

BEST SAMURAI BOND
United Mexican States' ¥150 billion 10-year shibosai
Bookrunners: Daiwa, Nomura

BEST EQUITY-LINKED DEAL
Asahi Glass's ¥100 billion euroyen CB
Bookrunner: Nomura

BEST SECURITISATION DEAL
Nippon Life's ¥100 billion Nissay 2009 bonds
Arranger: Daiwa

MOST INNOVATIVE DEAL
Kenedix's accelerated bookbuild and CB exchange offer
Bookrunner: UBS

Photo provided by AFP.

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