* Tsubaki Nakashima's market value seen at Y200 bln
* Carlyle to sell at least 1/3 of Tsubaki Nakashima-sources
* Carlyle may launch deal as early as June -sources
By Junko Fujita and Nathan Layne
TOKYO, Feb 24 Private equity firm Carlyle
Group has hired Nomura Holdings Inc and
Goldman Sachs to handle the initial public offering of
Japanese ball bearing maker Tsubaki Nakashima Co in a deal that
could be worth at least 70 billion yen ($873 million), sources
with knowledge of the matter said.
The global offering could be launched as early as June,
depending on market conditions, the sources said. It would
likely rank as the largest IPO in Japan since online gaming firm
Nexon Co sold 98 billion yen worth of shares in
Carlyle bought Tsubaki Nakashima Co from the principal
investment arm of Nomura Holdings a year ago, and had said it
planned to take the company public. At that time Tsubaki's
enterprise value was estimated at 66 billion yen.
The sources were not authorised to speak publicly about the
potential public offering as no concrete plans have been set.
The IPO could still be shelved if the stock market weakens, and
Carlyle could take the alternative route to exiting its
investment by selling Tsubaki to another firm.
Officials for Carlyle, Nomura and Goldman Sachs declined to
comment. Tsubaki Nakashima was not immediately available for
Carlyle is expecting Tsubaki to fetch more than 200 billion
yen. It wants to sell at least one-third of the company in the
IPO, and could look to unload as much as 70 percent depending on
pricing and other factors, sources said.
A successful listing of Tsubaki Nakashima could breathe life
into Japan's stagnant IPO market, which was depressed last year
due to the March 11 earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis and
amid worries about the debt crisis in Europe.
The value of shares sold in initial offerings fell to 165
billion yen in 2011, down 84 percent from a year earlier, with
the bulk coming from the Nexon IPO, according to Thomson Reuters
In addition to Tsubaki Nakashima, Carlyle may also may look
to revive the initial public offering of AvanStrate Inc, a maker
of glass used to make liquid crystal displays. Last year when it
was planning for that IPO the size was estimated at 31 billion
The buyout fund, which manages a 215.6 billion yen fund
designated for Japanese investment, is offloading other assets
as well. In August it sold the wafer unit of Japan's Covalent
Materials to Taiwanese solar wafer maker Sino-American Sillicon
Products Inc. Carlyle invested in the company with
Japan's Unison Capital in 2007.
Earlier this month Carlyle also sold Talaris, a British
provider of cash-counting equipment, to its Japanese rival Glory
Ltd for 650 million pounds ($1.02 billion), twice the
value of its original investment.
Glory was held by Carlyle's fund for European investments.