Japan trio and Kirkland act on Carlyle’s USD835m offer for KFC Japan

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Japanese law firms Carlyle KFC Japan deal
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Nishimura & Asahi, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, three of Japan’s largest law firms, and Kirkland & Ellis have advised on US private equity group Carlyle’s Tokyo-listed KFC Holdings Japan take-private in a JPY130 billion (USD835 million) acquisition.

The US private equity firm launched a tender offer on 21 May for JPY6,500 yen per share, with the tender period scheduled to last until 9 July this year. In September, Carlyle will acquire the roughly 35% stake held by Mitsubishi Corp in KFC Japan, thereby marking the exit of the Berkshire Hathaway-backed Japanese trading house in the fast-food chain.

In a 20 May news release by KFC Japan, in late January this year, the fried-chicken chain operator hired Mori Hamada as its legal counsel, while Mitsubishi Corp has been seeking legal advice from Nagashima Ohno since January this year.

The Nagashima Ohno team advising the Japanese trading house has been led by partners Sho Awaya and Yu Tamura.

Mori Hamada’s team advising KFC Japan has been led by partners Koji Toshima and Takeshi Fukuda.

On the other hand, Nishimura & Asahi has told Asia Business Law Journal that it has been acting as Carlyle’s adviser on the tender offer. The Tokyo-based firm’s team on the deal has been led by partners Keitaro Hamada, Toshiyuki Nonaka, Hiroko Jimbo and Mayuko Nakamura.

Kirkland also represented the US private equity group in its proposed acquisition of KFC Japan, with the team being led by corporate partner Jesse Sheley alongside technology and IP transactions partner Jeffery Norman.

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