Japan’s Kobe Steel to hire Mizuho as adviser on real estate unit sale

Photo: Reuters

Kobe Steel Ltd. hired Mizuho Securities Co. to advise it on the sale of a real estate unit to raise cash as a scandal over faked data engulfs the embattled steelmaker, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company will hold the first round of bidding on Oct. 20 to sell more than two thirds of Shinko Real Estate Co., the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. Foreign and Japanese funds, property developers and non-real estate firms are interested in bidding for the unit, which has assets of about 90 billion yen ($800 million), the people said.

Revelations this month that Kobe Steel falsified certifications on the strength of its metals for at least a decade have raised questions over whether the company can withstand compensation costs. The U.S. Department of Justice this week requested documents related to the scandal, which may affect companies including Ford Motor Co. and Boeing Co.

Japan’s third-largest steelmaker is seeking to sell about 70 percent of its shares in Shinko Real Estate and remain a minority shareholder, the people said. Kobe Steel plans to hold the second round of bidding later this year and close the transaction by March 31, they said. The company could halt the deal process if the situation changes, according to the people.

A Kobe Steel executive said earlier this week that the steelmaker is considering the sale of its real estate unit but that it isn’t linked to its wider problems.

Representatives from Kobe Steel and Mizuho declined to comment on the deal.

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Bloomberg

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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.