November 1, 2018 / 8:58 AM / 10 months ago

Carlyle hires Morgan Stanley banker for Japan operations - sources

TOKYO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group has hired a senior official from Morgan Stanley for its Japan operations as it shifts target to spin-offs of businesses by large Japanese companies, two people with knowledge of the hiring said.

Tomofumi Matsuyama, who was a managing director at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co, a joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group , will join Carlyle in Japan as the managing director, the sources added.

He is expected to cultivate deals related to the divesture of assets by large Japanese firms, one of the sources said.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because Matsuyama has not joined Carlyle as yet.

A spokeswoman for Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley confirmed his departure.

A Carlyle representative declined to comment.

The hiring comes as expectations grow for private equity opportunities in Japan, where many large companies are focusing on their core business and divesting non-core assets amid a government drive to streamline operations and boost shareholder returns.

Among Japanese blue-chip firms, Toshiba Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Panasonic Corp have sold some of their operations to global private equity firms, including KKR & Co Inc and Bain Capital.

During his tenure at the Morgan Stanley venture, Matsuyama covered mainly Japanese technology firms such as Panasonic and Hitachi, one of the sources said.

Carlyle had been focusing on smaller deals in Japan, taking advantage of the need for successors of small-business owners. However, it recently shifted its strategy and focus to multi-billion-dollar deals, a market dominated by KKR and Bain.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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