Japan regains an appetite for Australian business

By Michael Sonego - November 20, 2019

Outbound M&A activity originating from Japan surprised us in 2018 by making more than 1000 transactions valued at over AU$190.7bn. Looking at 2019 data it appears that this appetite for deals remains strong; in the first half of the year, Japanese buyers accounted for 30% of business services acquisitions by foreign buyers in the Australian midmarket.

A stagnating domestic economy coupled with a declining population has driven many Japanese corporates to search overseas for new growth opportunities, and Australia has consistently benefited from this thanks to increasing Japanese familiarity with its regulatory landscape, a stable government and favourable geographic positioning in the Asia Pacific region.

Recently, listed Japanese human resources company Will Group acquired 60% of recruitment company u&u Holdings and 19% of u&u NSW for $20m. This exemplifies the trend as acquisitions follow intentions to expand into the Oceanic region where the company anticipates strong future growth.

Pitcher Partners has an experienced team of specialists that can assist you with any inbound or outbound transactions between Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your own situation.

Airmaster Australia Case Study

M&A Advisory

Divestment to Daikin Australia

For over 30 years, Airmaster Australia has been a provider of air conditioning, heating and ventilation services in Australia. The company is headquartered in Melbourne with over 700 staff working across 12 branches and 3,800 sites nationally. 

Pitcher Partners Corporate Finance assisted in the divestment of Airmaster Australia to leading Japanese air-conditioning group, Daikin, for $100m. The corporate finance team used their in-depth industry knowledge and M&A expertise to effectively position the strategic value of the opportunity to Daikin, a position which was maintained throughout the sale process. Pitcher Partners managed the entire process through due diligence and contract negotiations to a point where all initial terms were honoured, this allowed for a smooth transition of Airmaster Australia into the Daikin family.

The successful integration into the Daikin group provides Airmaster Australia with the opportunity to work with the world’s leading air-conditioning brand and sets a solid foundation for growth. Both parties have continued operating their own products and services under independent brands.

Quote from Alistair MacDonald – Managing Director - “The Pitcher Partners team were instrumental in achieving an outstanding result for all shareholders. Their professionalism, depth of knowledge and expertise ensured that the information and documentation were clear and relevant, and that responses to queries were answered promptly so that project milestones could be maintained”.


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