TOKYO Japan's finance minister will meet the chief executive of Japan Post Holdings Co (6178.T) in the coming days over the state-controlled company's shock $3.6 billion writedown on its Australian logistics arm, Toll Holdings Ltd, a source said.
The source, who has direct knowledge of the meeting, said Taro Aso and Japan Post's Masatsugu Nagato would focus on the company's response to the impairment charge, booked just two years after the acquisition of Toll.
The 2015 cash deal was widely criticized at the time. Analysts and bankers questioned the rich premium as Japan Post rushed to seal its first overseas transaction just months ahead of its initial public offering.
Japan Post announced the 400 billion yen writedown on Toll earlier this week. The hit pushed it to an annual loss of 40 billion yen for the year ended in March.
News of the writedown comes at a sensitive time for Tokyo, which is planning the sale of additional government shares in the Japan Post. Japan, which still controls 80 percent of the company, aims to raise around 4 trillion yen ($35.96 billion) through that sale.
The divestment is partly aimed at funding the rebuilding of areas hit by Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami. No date has been set, but Tokyo has named six investment banks to serve as underwriters.
The government sold about $12 billion worth of shares in Japan Post and its two financial units in the initial public offering.
Japan Post declined to comment. A finance ministry spokesman said he was not aware of any meeting.
(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto; Writing by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Clara Ferreira Marques)