Japan to raise €7.8 billion through Japan Tobacco share sale
Japan’s Government will sell around a third of its stake in Japan Tobacco Inc, the world’s No.3 tobacco company, to raise about €7.8 billion for reconstruction of areas devastated by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The Ministry of Finance, which owns just over 50 per cent of the €46.6 billion former state monopoly, is selling 333 million shares, according to a regulatory filing yesterday, with the deal to be priced between March 11 and 13.
The offering, the largest such deal since the US Treasury’s €15.5 billion sale of American International Group Inc. shares in September, comes as Japanese equities scale their highest levels in more than four years.
Japan’s Parliament in 2011 passed a set of Bills including tax hikes and Government share sales in state-owned companies to help finance the roughly €203 billion it expects to spend to rebuild the northeast coast after the quake in March that year.
Reuters reported last week that the stake sale would be launched within days.
Conditions for a sell-down in the Government’s stake in Japan Tobacco have improved in recent months, with the benchmark Nikkei share average hitting a 53-month high yesterday.