TOKYO: Citigroup Inc. offered $10.8 billion (Rs48,113 crore) for all of Tokyo-based Nikko Cordial Corp. to shore up an investment-banking partnership that has lost business because of an accounting scandal at the Japanese brokerage.
Citigroup said on 6 March that it would seek to raise its stake in Nikko to as much as 100% from 4.9%, marking the biggest acquisition ever in Asia by the largest US bank. Nikko Cordial’s shares surged 14% to 1,340 yen before the announcement.
The acquisition will add 109 branches and 12,000 employees in the world’s No. 2 economy. A takeover by the world’s biggest financial firm would also end concerns about Nikko’s future, after six top executives quit and the Tokyo Stock Exchange said it may delist the company’s shares because of the accounts fraud.
“It’s a very good combination,” David Herro, Chicago-based chief investment officer of international equities at Harris Associates LP, Nikko’s biggest shareholder, said before the offer. Nikko “could become a conduit to sell Citigroup products and ingenuity in the Japanese market, which is starved of good investment products.”