Livedoor (Japanese only), THE Internet company in Japan, is set to sell its shares of its software sales subsidiary Yayoi (Japanese only) later this month to MBK, a quite famous private equity fund active in Japan, China and South Korea.
MBK is pumping a whopping 71 billion Yen into the deal. That is 624 million USD! MBK will borrow a portion of the sum from Swiss financial powerhouse UBS.
Livedoor bought Yayoi in 2004 for 20 billion Yen (158 million USD) – not a bad deal, indeed. Previously, Yayoi was a Japanese subsidiary of American accounting software giant Intuit (known particularly for Quicken). Insiders think it is likely Yayoi will go public in the near future.
Virtual world Club Penguin was sold to Disney last month for an estimated 700 million USD, creating a huge buzz not only in the Internet business world.
With Livedoor receiving roughly 90% of this huge sum, you can see a) the Japanese web business is not about peanuts at all and b) outside this country almost no one notices deals even of this size.