Japanese jewelry retailer Primo’s PE owner explores IPO options

A diamond ring. Photographer: Chip Chipman/Bloomberg

Longreach Group, the buyout firm founded by former UBS Group AG investment banker Mark Chiba, is considering an initial public offering of its jewelry business Primo Japan Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

The owner has been working with Nomura Holdings Inc. to explore options that could also include a sale of the Tokyo-based diamond ring seller, the people said. Any deal could value the business at more than $200 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

Primo, which makes and sells semi-customized bridal jewelry, has been expanding outside its Japanese market. Last month, it opened its first store in Beijing, and eighth in China, located on the capital’s popular Wangfujing shopping street, its website shows.

Established in Japan two decades ago, Primo now has about 111 stores in Asia, including locations in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Longreach bought Primo in 2015 from a Baring Private Equity Asia affiliate, the buyout firm’s website shows.

While an IPO is currently the preferred option, Longreach could still opt to sell the business to another private equity firm or a rival retailer, the people said. Deliberations are at an early stage, and no final decisions have been made about a sale, they said.

A representative for Longreach couldn’t be reached for comment, while representatives for Nomura and Primo declined to comment.

Bloomberg

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

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Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.