KKR to buy Usen unit in first major Japan deal

* KKR to buy Intelligence Ltd for $357 mln

* Deal is second KKR investment in Japan

* Intelligence offers recruitment services in Japan

By Paritosh Bansal

NEW YORK, June 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co
[KKR.UL] said on Friday it would buy Intelligence Ltd, a unit
of cable broadcaster Usen Corp (4842.OJ: ), for 32.5 billion yen
($357 million), making it the private equity giant’s first
significant deal in Japan.

The deal is also only the second investment in Japan by
KKR, which was founded in 1976 and opened an office in Tokyo in
2006. It made a minority investment in leasing company Orient
Corp (8585.T: ) in 2007.

The firm, which has $54.7 billion in assets under
management, has looked at other Japanese assets such as the
sale of telemarketer Bellsystem24 by Citigroup Inc (C.N: ), but
did not pull the trigger on a significant transaction.

Intelligence, which was established in 1989, offers
permanent job placement services, temporary staffing and
outsourcing, and job search advertising.

The company, whose brands include “DODA” and “an”, holds
the second-largest share in Japan’s permanent job placement as
well as job search advertising markets, KKR said.

“As one of the few recruitment services firms in Japan
providing such a comprehensive offering, the company is well
positioned to take advantage of an anticipated upturn in
economic activity,” said Shusaku Minoda, chief executive of
KKR’s Japan operations.

KKR entered into exclusive talks to buy the business from
Usen last week, beating out rivals Advantage Partners and
Carlyle Group [CYL.UL], which had also been shortlisted as
bidders for the business, a source previously told Reuters.

Tokyo-based Usen, established in 1964, has been selling a
series of assets as part of its restructuring efforts,
according to Reuters Loan Pricing Corp.

In September 2008, Intelligence became a wholly owned Usen
unit through stock swap and was delisted, the RLPC said.

The parties expect to complete the acquisition at the end
of July.

KKR, led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, has
investments in companies such as retailer Dollar General Corp
(DG.N: ), hospital operator HCA and media company Nielsen.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Richard Chang)

KKR to buy Usen unit in first major Japan deal