Japanese chemical firm Showa Denko K. K. announced earlier this week the sale of its aluminium business to United States investment fund Apollo Global Management for an undisclosed sum.
Thursday’s announcement was the latest in Showa Denko’s move to shed assets. Specifically sold was the firm’s aluminium rolling, aluminium can, and electronic components segments.
Neither Showa Denko nor Apollo Management revealed the price of the sale, but best estimates of the assets have them valued at around JP¥50 billion (US$480.31 million).
Showa Denko is in the midst of adjusting its portfolio of assets in the wake of its US$9.2 billion buy-out of Hitachi Chemical, which produces semiconductor parts, lithium-ion batteries, and computer displays.
Meanwhile, Apollo is one of several Western firms seeking a foothold in Japan, as many of the country’s larger firms are facing increased pressure to divest non-core assets and boost dividends to shareholders. Among the other equity firms shopping in the island nation are KKR, Carlyle Group, and CVC Capital Partners.
Showa Denko was founded in 1939 as a merger between Nihon Electrical Industries and Showa Fertilizers. It has over 180 subsidiaries divided into five business sectors: petrochemicals, aluminium, electronics, chemicals, and inorganic materials. The firm merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation in 2001 in order to improve its high-value-added fabricated aluminium business.