Mizuho Financial Group has agreed to purchase the U.S. loan assets of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) for around $3 billion.
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Mizuho, Japan's second-largest lender by assets, said it will acquire $36.5 billion in corporate loans and commitments from RBS in a deal that will help it boost its global presence in corporate lending and debt issuance.
Mizuho is also in talks with Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. about buying its 60% stake in Bank of Commerce, which is valued at more than $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mizuho's deal with RBS is just the latest by a Japanese company looking for opportunity abroad to offset slow growth at home. Japanese firms in a range of sectors have announced $24.9 billion of overseas mergers and acquisitions so far this year, not counting the Mizuho-RBS deal, according to data provider Dealogic.
That's the most ever for the time period, exceeding last year's year-to-date total of $18.28 billion, which included Suntory Holdings Inc.'s $13.95 billion acquisition of Beam Inc.
Asahi Kasei Corp. this week agreed to buy the energy-storage business of Charlotte, N.C.-based Polypore International Inc. for $2.2 billion. Last week, Japan Post Holdings Co. said it would buy Australian logistics company Toll Holdings Ltd. for $5.1 billion, while Kintetsu World Express Inc., a Japanese air freight operator, agreed to buy APL Logistics Inc. from Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. for $1.2 billion.
Canon Inc. said earlier this month it would acquire Axis Communications AB of Sweden for $2.8 billion, and last month trading house Itochu Corp. jointly took a joint 20% stake in China's Citic Ltd. with Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group, with its share coming to around $5.2 billion.[break]
Royal Bank of Scotland Group said it would exit around 10 countries this year and pull back sharply from investment banking as its 2014 net loss narrowed and it edged closer to shedding state support.
TBS posted a GBP3.47 billion ($5.39 billion) net loss, narrower than 2013's GBP9 billion net loss. Operating profit was GBP3.5 billion, against a GBP7.5 billion operating loss in 2013.
Chief executive ross McEwan said the net loss was the result of a series of one-off charges, including a GBP4 billion write-down on the value of part-owned U.S. unit Citizens Financial Group and GBP2.2 billion in conduct and litigation charges. He said the bank is paying the price for its past ambitions to be a global investment bank, and now needs to take more radical measures to make RBS a sound investment for shareholders. ■