TOKYO (AFP) – Japan Post flexed its muscles with a $5.07 billion takeover bid for Australia’s Toll Holdings Wednesday in a move set to bolster its appeal ahead of what could be one of the world’s biggest IPOs later this year.
The behemoth, a state-owned global postal and logistics player that also functions as the world’s biggest bank by deposits, unexpectedly offered Aus$9.04 a share for Toll, a 49 per cent premium to the company’s closing price on Tuesday, valuing it at Aus$6.49 billion (US$5.07 billion).
The takeover deal – Japan Post’s first overseas acquisition – could make the firm an even more attractive proposition for potential investors when it goes to market, expected later this year.
As well as the healthy profits Toll will contribute to its already-giant coffers, the bid demonstrates Japan Post’s direction of travel and its awareness that it must compete outside its home market – something investors will be eager to see.
Under the proposal, the Melbourne-based transport logistics giant will be run as a division within Japan Post, retaining the Toll name, with the company’s chief executive Brian Kruger reporting to his counterpart Toru Takahashi, the head of the Japanese group’s unit tasked with managing 24,000 post offices in Japan.