Japan Inc. upgrades via M&A splurge

Japan’s marquee companies have signed a record-breaking run of transformational foreign acquisitions – and their financiers are shouldering the risk.
The changing face of Japanese marquee firms after transformational M&A surge
The changing face of Japanese marquee firms after transformational M&A surge

Canon chairman Fujio Mitarai took personal control of the Japanese printer and camera maker’s largest-ever overseas acquisition. The septuagenarian flew to Denmark in secret and then drove across the Øresund Bridge to Sweden and met the management of fast-growing video surveillance firm Axis.

The world’s biggest camera maker said on February 10 it would pay $2.82 billion in cash to seal the deal, representing a no-nonsense 70% premium to Axis’ share price a month prior. The acquisition could mark a turning point for the shrinking firm that Mitarai’s uncle Takeshi Mitarai helped found.

Fujio Mitarai is not alone in going to extraordinary lengths to secure the future...

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