| TOKYO, Sept 9
TOKYO, Sept 9 Private equity firms KKR,
Bain Capital and MBK Partners are set to submit second-rounds
bids to buy Japanese auto parts maker Calsonic Kansei Corp
, which has a market value of $2.4 billion, people with
direct knowledge of the matter told Thomson Reuters LPC.
The buyout firms will bid for Nissan Motor Co's 41
percent stake in Calsonic, which Japan's second-biggest
automaker is auctioning. The winner of that bid is then expected
to make a public tender for the rest of Calsonic's shares, the
Calsonic provides private equity firms a rare opportunity to
do a large-sized transaction in Japan, where they have
traditionally been unwelcome as domestic companies are loathe to
the drastic restructuring typically undertaken by private equity
Nissan may use the cash toward planned investments as it
continues to develop new technologies including next generation
electric cars and automated driving functions, while it is also
planning to buy a controlling stake in embattled Mitsubishi
It put up the Calsonic stake for auction and targeted buyout
firms after failing to get corporate buyers interested, sources
have said previously.
The first-round bids were closed in June and the
second-round bids, usually the last round in auctions, are
expected to close by mid-October, the sources said.
It was not immediately clear if there are other bidders for
the second round or who all bid in the first round. The value of
the potential bids could not be immediately ascertained. It was
not known when Nissan will pick the winning bid.
The three private equity firms and Calsonic declined to
comment when asked about the bids. Nissan reiterated its
position that media speculation on the deal was not based on any
announcement by the company, adding it would make any
disclosures on the subject if necessary.
The sources asked not to be identified because they are not
authorized to speak to media.
Calsonic Kansei specialises in auto parts including
interiors, electronics, air conditioning units and compressors,
and relies for about 80 percent of its global sales on Nissan.
But as more Japanese automakers dismantle their supplier
groups, Calsonic has been trying to grow its client base
away from Nissan. It now counts Renault SA - which
owns 44 percent of Nissan - Isuzu Motors and other
automakers as clients.
Calsonic posted a 22.5 billion yen ($220.20 million) net
profit for the year ended March 2016, compared with 20.5 billion
yen in the previous year. Sales rose 9 percent to 1 trillion yen
in the year through March.
The sale of Nissan's Calsonic stake is handled by Bank of
America Merrill Lynch, sources have said.
($1 = 102.1800 yen)
(Reporting by Wakako Sato; Additional reporting by Naomi
Tajitsu and Junko Fujita; Writing by Junko Fujita; Editing by