Carlyle to buy Japanese LCD glass manufacturer

The world’s largest private equity firm, as ranked by Private Equity International’s PEI 50, will pay a reported $560m for a majority stake in NH Techno Glass.

The Carlyle Group is set to purchase a second portfolio company from its Carlyle Japan Partners II fund, which closed on ¥215.6 billion in 2006.

The private equity firm agreed to purchase a majority stake in NH Techno Glass, a maker of glass substrates for liquid crystal displays.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though Reuters reported the sale price to be $560 million (€363 million).

NH Techno Glass was a 50-50 joint venture between Japan’s HOYA Corporation and Nippon Sheet Glass. Nippon will sell its entire stake to Carlyle, will HOYA has agreed to sell the firm 21.5 percent of its stake.

The transaction is expected to close in June 2008, the firms said.

“We are confident in the strong management of NH Techno Glass and its growth potential supported by superior technology and product quality,” Masao Hirano, managing director and co-head of Carlyle Japan Buyout, said in a statement.

In addition to funding overseas facilities expansion to meet the rising demand for LCG glass substrates, Hirano said Carlyle will help the company pursue strategic partnerships and improve corporate value.

Jun Makino, NH Techno Glass president, noted there is a sharp increase in demand for the company’s products as they are used in flat-screen television sets, computer screens and mobile phone displays.

“With Carlyle’s equity participation, we expect to quicken our business development through significant capital, R&D and infrastructure investments,” he said.

The other portfolio company in Carlyle’s second Japanese fund is Toshiba Ceramics, a manufacturer of semi-conductor wafers. The firm teamed with Unison Capital Partners, a Japanese private equity firm, in December 2006 to take the company private in a transaction that was valued at up to ¥91 billion.

Washington DC-based Carlyle recently topped sister publication Private Equity International’s PEI 50, a ranking of the world’s largest private equity firms.