Blackstone signs agreement to acquire Sony Payment Services

US-based alternative asset manager Blackstone has signed an agreement to acquire Japan-based Sony Payment Services from Sony Bank

US-based alternative asset manager Blackstone has signed an agreement to acquire Japan-based Sony Payment Services from Sony Bank . According to the official press release, a definite agreement was reached for Blackstone to acquire a majority stake in Japan’s payment service provider, Sony Payment Services (SPSV), from Sony Bank, a subsidiary of Sony Group.

Following the acquisition, Sony Bank will reportedly retain a portion of its equity in SPSV and will continue to support its growth. SPSV is a payment service provider in Japan, offering the infrastructure that enables customers and businesses alike to process online payments. Officials from Blackstone emphasised in the official statement SPSV’s role in promoting cashless payments in Japan.

They further added that the partnership with Blackstone is anticipated to boost SPSV’s capabilities via investments in strategic sectors such as IT and talent. Japan’s current economic situation Although Japan has long been known as a cash-first society, the country has made significant efforts to shift towards cashless payments. In July 2023, it was announced that, as per information made available by Bank of Japan, the use of coins dropped significantly.

The shift was credited in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, bank fees, inflation, and the rise of cashless payment technologies. As outlined in the official press release regarding Blackstone’s acquisition of SPSV, with a market penetration of 9.1%, Japan is currently the fourth-largest electronic card payment market worldwide. This shift towards cashless payments is particularly popular in the Asia-Pacific area.

By 2027, statistics indicate that the volume of cashless payments in the region is anticipated to surpass the combined number of transactions in Europe and North America. Blackstone’s strategy and previous developments The announcement marks Blackstone’s first venture into the financial technology sector in Japan. However, previous to this acquisition, Blackstone’s Private Equity investments in Japan encompassed the acquisition of Alinamin Pharmaceutical (formerly Takeda Consumer Healthcare) and AYUMI Pharmaceutical.

Blackstone is an alternative asset manager with reportedly over USD 1 trillion in assets under management in private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds. Earlier in 2023, it was revealed that commerce company Kite raised USD 200 million in equity from funds managed by Blackstone and Juxtapose. .

Dec 22, 2023 13:02
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