Hitachi narrows metals unit buyers to 2 groups, including KKR, Jiji says

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Hitachi is seen at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Hitachi Ltd has narrowed down potential buyers of Hitachi Metals Ltd to two groups, one of which is led by private equity firm KKR & Co, Jiji Press said on Thursday.

If realised, the deal is expected to be worth more than 700 billion yen ($6.42 billion), one of this year’s biggest M&As, Jiji said.

KKR is teaming with government-backed Japan Investment Corp to buy Hitachi Metals, which makes components for cars and industrial equipment, Jiji said.

Reuters previously reported that Carlyle Group, Bain Capital and KKR were among potential bidders. Hitachi is planning to sell its 53% stake in Hitachi Metals.

Hitachi said in a statement on Thursday to Reuters that nothing has been decided at this point with regard to the reported sale of Hitachi Metals, adding that the firm was considering various ways to enhance its corporate value.

Hitachi Metals, with a market value more than $7 billion, will be the latest of Hitachi’s divestiture of businesses following the sale of chemical unit Hitachi Chemical Co to Showa Denko and of a diagnostic imaging business to Fujifilm Holdings Corp.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Noriyuki Hirata; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Tom Hogue