* SMFG paying $290-$490 million for company
* SMFG buying Chicago-based Flagship Rail Services
* Japanese banks remain active in overseas acquisitions
By Taiga Uranaka
TOKYO, Dec 12 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
said it will acquire the U.S. railcar leasing business
of Perella Weinberg Partners LP, illustrating the continued
appetite of Japanese banks for overseas assets.
Japan's third-largest lender by assets did not disclose
terms of the deal, but a source familiar with the matter said
the bank is likely to pay 30-50 billion yen ($290-$490 million).
In a statement issued on Thursday, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Corp, a core unit of SMFG, said an increase in shale oil and gas
production is driving up demand for rail freight transportation
in the United States.
"The U.S. railcar leasing business will continue to be
positively impacted by robust overall demand from the U.S. rail
freight transportation industry," it said.
The Japanese bank will buy Chicago-based Flagship Rail
Services LLC from a fund managed by Perella Weinberg Partners
LP. The leasing company owns about 15,000 railcars and its
assets are valued at $1.1 billion, SMBC said in the statement.
The fund, Perella Weinberg Asset Based Value Strategy, had
bought the railcar leasing business from American International
Group in 2011. Reuters reported in September that
Perella Weinberg was looking to sell Flagship Rail Services.
Relatively unscathed by global the financial crisis five
years ago, Japanese banks have been aggressively snapping up
assets overseas in their search for growth beyond a weak home
Earlier this year, SMFG agreed to buy 40 percent of Bank
Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk PT in a deal valued at
Last year, the Japanese bank and its partners acquired Royal
Bank of Scotland's aircraft leasing business for $7.3 billion.
The deal for RBS Aviation Capital, the world's fourth-largest
aircraft leasing company, instantly made SMFG a major player in