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Carlyle-backed software firm WingArc1st launches $172 mln IPO

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s software company WingArc1st Inc, which is backed by U.S. buyout firm Carlyle Group Inc, on Thursday launched an initial public offering (IPO) worth up to 18.2 billion yen ($171.8 million), a regulatory filing showed.

The Tokyo-based WingArc1st, which develops and sells business software, will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on March 16, according to the filing with the Ministry of Finance.

That is the third attempt by Carlyle to float the company, and a successful listing would be the first time an IPO that had failed twice in Tokyo was eventually completed.

Reuters earlier this week reported the U.S. fund was set to win approval for the IPO as early as Thursday.

Carlyle owns 34.79% of WingArc1st, which has a market value of 46.5 billion yen, and the fund aims to sell all shares in the offering, the filing showed.

Carlyle bought WingArc1st from Japan’s Orix Corp for an undisclosed sum in 2016. It shelved IPO plans in 2019 because of market conditions and again last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlyle now looks likely to take advantage of the Japanese stock market’s surge to its highest in 30 years. A successful IPO would be Carlyle’s eighth in Japan.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange said that while 18 Japanese companies including WingArc1st postponed their IPOs last year because of the coronavirus, 11 of them had successfully listed by the end of January. ($1 = 105.9200 yen) (Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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