Carylye revives Japan's AvanStrate IPO as market improves

TOKYO, March 21 Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:59am EDT

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TOKYO, March 21 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group has revived an initial public offering of AvanStrate Inc, a Japanese maker of glass used to make liquid crystal displays, taking advantage of the recovery in Japan's stock market.

Carlyle tried to offload AvanStrate, which it bought in 2008, about a year ago but the plan was scrapped after the stock market was depressed due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disasters and ensuing nuclear crisis.

Now investors are more upbeat on Japanese equities on expectation that the weaker yen will help Japan's exporters to improve profits.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 snapped a five-day winning streak on Wednesday but is still up close to 20 percent so far this year.

Carlyle will sell 26.92 million shares in the company, or about half of its holdings, for an estimated 610 yen a share, according to a statement AvanStrate issued on Wednesday.

AvanStrate will also sell 8.2 million shares, making the size of the IPO 21.4 billion yen ($256 million). Carlyle may sell as many as 2.634 million additional shares depending on the demand.

The shares will start trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on April 24 after setting the final price on April 16.

The U.S. buyout fund is also set to sell shares in Japanese ball bearing maker Tsubaki Nakashima Co and hired Nomura Holdings and Goldman Sachs as an underwriter, sources have told Reuters.

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