(Adds IPO suspension last year)
TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - U.S. buyout firm Carlyle Group Inc is set to win approval for an initial public offering (IPO) of Japan’s WingArc1st Inc as early as Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said, its third attempt to list the software firm.
A successful listing of WingArc1st, which develops and sells business software including cloud-based offerings, would be the first time an IPO that had failed twice in Tokyo was eventually completed.
The Tokyo-based company is likely to list by mid-March with a market capitalisation of around 50 billion yen ($475 million), the people said, declining to be identified as the information is not yet public.
It was not clear how much of WingArc1st Carlyle aims to sell, nor the amount Carlyle aims to raise.
Carlyle and the Tokyo Stock Exchange declined to comment on the matter. A WingArc1st spokesman said the software developer is considering listing and declined to comment further.
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 owned 47.3% of WingArc1st as of February 2020. It has since sold stakes to trading house Itochu Corp and other investors, data compiled by Refinitiv showed.
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 have successfully listed by the end of January.
Kioxia Holdings Corp, the world’s second-largest maker of flash memory chips, in September also shelved its IPO plan as U.S.-China tensions impacted the global chip market.
$1 = 105.6000 yen Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing