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Bain to take Japan’s SunTelephone private

The $550m SunTelephone acquisition represents Bain Capital’s second Asian deal, as the Boston firm preps a dedicated fund for the region and names a high-profile local professional.

Bain Capital’s Asian expansion continues with the announcement of the agreement to acquire SunTelephone Co., a company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange, for approximately $550 million (€418 million), according to a statement issued yesterday by SunTelephone.

The acquisition corporation is equally controlled by Bain Capital and local private equity firm, Japan Industrial Partners. Sun Telephone filed notice of the tender offer, with its period to last from December 21 and ending on February 14 of 2007, subject to standard regulatory approval.

SunTelephone Co., founded in 1948 and headquartered in Tokyo, serves as a distributor of telecommunications products, and as an equipment leasing company dedicated to the small and medium enterprise market. The SunTelephone transaction is the second deal in the country for Bain Capital, which recently established offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as Tokyo.

The firm’s debut deal in Asia was the purchase of the unattended payment systems provider MEI Conlux, from the Mars Company this past April. MEI Conlux is based in Pennsylvania and Sadako, Japan and was also acquired in partnership with a Japanese private equity firm, Advantage Partners.

This past September, Bain Capital announced it would be raising a fund focused exclusively on opportunities in Asia with target and timing to be determined.

In November the firm appointed Nobuyoshi Yamanaka an operating partner. Yamanaka joined the firm from Emerson Electric Japan and GE Hitachi, and is currently serving as chairman of the board for MEI Conlux.