Bain bid for Japan ad agency Asatsu-DK too low, says shareholder Silchester

Logo of Bain Capital is screened at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital LP’s $1.35 billion offer to buy Japan’s third-largest advertising agency Asatsu-DK Inc is too low, its second-largest shareholder Silchester International Investors LLP has said.

London-based fund Silchester, which owns 17.3 percent of the ad agency, joins largest shareholder WPP PLC in questioning the bid price, with WPP believing the buyout plan significantly undervalues Asatsu-DK, a person familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.

“The current offer price substantially undervalues ADK, its assets, franchise and future opportunities,” Silchester said in a statement dated Wednesday. It “encourages other prospective buyers of ADK to come forward.”

Asatsu-DK shares have risen above Bain’s 3,660 yen ($32.49) per share offer price, closing at 3,845 yen in Tokyo trading on Thursday, indicating some investors expect Bain will have to improve its bid or that a rival bid is likely.

Bain declined to comment on the matter.

Asatsu-DK supports Bain’s offer, saying private ownership represents the best option to position the ad agency for sustainable growth. It intends to dissolve its longstanding alliance with WPP, the world’s largest advertising group.

Bain’s latest bid for a Japanese firm comes only days after a consortium led by the Boston-based firm signed an $18 billion deal to buy Toshiba Corp’s microchip business.

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Bain Capital says aims to buy Japan ad agency Asatsu-DK for $1.35b

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.