Monday, September 22, 2008


The Japanese are back:
Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest bank, agreed to pay the equivalent of $8.4 billion buy 10 percent to 20 percent of Morgan Stanley, the bank said, adding that it will start due diligence on Morgan Stanley before determining a final price.

....The deal may mark the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese financial company. Nomura Holdings, the largest Japanese securities firm, is close to acquiring European and Asian assets of Lehman, three people familiar with the matter said today.

"The purpose for the investment is to strengthen the investment banking business globally," said Hirokazu Ushio, a Tokyo-based spokesman at Mitsubishi UFJ.

Like Nomura, Mitsubishi UFJ has struggled to expand outside Japan, leaving it vulnerable to a slowing domestic economy. The bank was formed in October 2005 after a merger between Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group and UFJ Holdings.

Morgan Stanley ranks sixth globally in advising on mergers and acquisitions, 47 slots above Mitsubishi UFJ, according to Bloomberg data. In equity underwriting, Morgan Stanley is fifth while the Japanese bank is No. 100.

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