TOKYO: The Japanese government has launched the $12.1bn follow-on sale of a stake in Japan Post Holdings. It is the first equity offering from the group since a three-way initial public offering in 2015 of the company and its banking and insurance subsidiaries, which was the biggest privatisation in Japan since the 1980s. The government will sell up to 1bn shares – including additional shares if demand is strong enough – according to a filing with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau. That will raise ¥1.3tn ($12.1bn) based on the company’s closing price of ¥1,321 on Monday, although the final price will be determined between September 25 and 27. The new shares will begin trading four business days after the final price has been set.
Japan Post is the country’s largest employer outside the civil service as well as its biggest bank and largest writer of life insurance. The sale marks something of a continuation of the country’s original plan to raise cash to be spent on reconstruction work in areas hit by the 2011 tsunami. In the first tranche of what was expected to be a roughly $36bn float, the government in 2015 sold an 11 per cent stake in Japan Post, which in turn sold an 11 per cent in its two financial subsidiaries. Shares in Japan Post, which have struggled since the IPO, were trading down 1.7 per cent in Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon.