Carlyle-backed Japan firm drops plan for up to $555 million IPO

TOKYO Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:48am EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Carlyle Group-backed Japanese ball-bearings maker Tsubaki Nakashima Co has called off an up to $555 million initial public offering, citing weak market conditions, marking another failed attempt by the U.S. private equity firm to list its assets in Japan.

Carlyle (CG.O), which owns 95 percent of Tsubaki Nakashima, had planned to sell 26.5 million shares, or 70 percent of its holdings in the company in an initial public offering which could have raised as much as 43.4 billion yen ($555 million).

"We have decided to call off the initial public offering after considering the overall situation including market conditions," Tsubaki Nakashima said in a statement on Monday. The company had announced earlier this month a plan to list its shares and was to have set a price range for the IPO on Monday after gauging investor demand.

Carlyle bought Tsubaki Nakashima last year from the private equity unit of Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T). Tsubaki Nakashima was valued at 66 billion yen at that time.

Carlyle, the only foreign private equity firm with a fund dedicated to Japanese investments, has not had great success in initial public offerings for the investments.

In April Carlyle-owned AvanStrate Inc, a maker of glass used for liquid crystal displays, pulled its IPO plans for the second time in a year.

Carlyle had also planned to sell its stake in mobile communications provider Willcom Inc but before the IPO could take place Willcom went bankrupt in 2010.

Carlyle hired Nomura Securities, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and others to handle the offering for Tsubaki Nakashima.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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