Takeover bid from Merck prompted state-backed move for JSR
Fresh reports in the FT speculate that the Japan Investment Corp's USD 6.4 billion tender offer for JSR was a defensive move against life sciences group Merck.
The story quotes sources with direct knowledge of the talks, who said Merck’s undisclosed bid in the autumn of 2022 was rejected by print circuit design specialist JSR. Following two more bids from private equity, the board approached the state-backed JIP to keep JSR Japanese.
The agreement revealed last summer was for JIC to acquire JSR shares for JPY 4,350 each leading to a USD 6.4 billion deal. However, at the time of writing the deal has still not completed.
The FT story quotes one investor as saying the episode leaves a “big question mark” over when the Japanese government might next intervene in the private sector to ensure economic security.
Tokyo-based JSR is one of the world's leading producers of photoresists, which are light-sensitive chemicals used in semiconductor circuit manufacturing. The firm claims a global market share of about 30% and clients including Samsung Electronics, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Micron Technology.