Polaris Capital Group and Hamilton Lane announce closing of take-private transaction for Japan’s SOGO Medical Holdings

April 28, 2020 | 3 Min Read

Tokyo – Japanese private equity firm Polaris Capital Group Co. Ltd. (“Polaris”) and global private markets investment management firm Hamilton Lane (NASDAQ: HLNE) have announced the successful take-private tender offering for SOGO Medical Holdings Co., Ltd. ("SOGO Medical”). The tender offer for SOGO Medical was made by PSM Holdings Inc, a wholly-owned entity of Polaris.

SOGO Medical is a pharmaceutical market leader in Japan, with more than 30 years of experience operating over 700 pharmacies nationwide. The company also provides a specialised medical support business (MBS) to hospitals in Japan, providing outsourced operational and administrative services including leasing and installation of medical equipment, hospital staffing and medical and health information services.

The transaction is the first time that Polaris and Hamilton Lane have partnered on a take-private transaction. Polaris is a specialised investor focused exclusively on the Japanese market, with deep experience in the national healthcare sector. With nearly three decades of experience investing in the private markets, Hamilton Lane brings to the transaction its long-term investment track record and considerable experience in take-private transactions, particularly within the healthcare sector.

SOGO Medical has a strong position in Japan’s healthcare system with its high street presence. The business is well positioned to play an increasingly important role in providing community-level care, support and advice to patients. In addition, the Japanese healthcare market is seeing additional levels of outsourcing, supporting SOGO Medical’s MBS division’s growth and development.

Collwyn Tan, Co-Head of Asia Investments at Hamilton Lane, said: “We were delighted to partner with Polaris to execute this investment into SOGO Medical Holdings, whose extensive high street pharmacy presence made this an attractive opportunity. The investment also demonstrates Hamilton Lane’s ongoing commitment to Japan, where it has had a Tokyo office for well over a decade, and to the broader Asia-Pacific region, which continues to grow in importance in private market portfolios.”

About Polaris

Polaris Capital Group is an independent fund management firm which has been engaged in carve-out, business succession, and MBO specifically for small to mid-cap companies in Japan, for the last 16 years since its inception in September 2004. To date, Polaris has raised around JPY200 Billion in total through 4 fund raisings in and outside of Japan, and invested in about 40 Japanese companies. Also, Polaris is the only major LBO house with an office in Osaka, and intends to put more effort in identifying attractive investment opportunities in western Japan.

There are many Japanese mid-cap enterprises which have not yet realized their full potential due to so-called ‘Shigarami’ - legacy assets or constraints, as commonly seen in Japanese companies. Upholding investment missions to ‘Revive entrepreneurial spirits’ and ‘Promote business model innovation’, in order for its portfolio companies to combat such obstacles, Polaris will continue to extend support by assuming controlling shareholder position, so that they could overcome such ‘Shigarami’ to deliver their enhanced enterprise values underpinned by non-linear and organic business growth. Polaris also supports global expansion of its portfolio companies through its Singapore subsidiary.

Polaris formed Polaris Fund V in November 2019 with a target size of JPY150 Billion, in view of ever growing demand from small to mid-cap enterprises in Japan for business succession and carve-out buyouts.

About Hamilton Lane

Hamilton Lane (NASDAQ: HLNE) is a leading alternative investment management firm providing innovative private markets solutions to sophisticated investors around the world. Dedicated to private markets investing for 28 years, the firm currently employs 400 professionals operating in offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. Hamilton Lane has approximately $488 billion in assets under management and supervision, composed of approximately $66 billion in discretionary assets and nearly $422 billion in advisory assets, as of December 31, 2019. Hamilton Lane offers a full range of investment products and services that enable clients to participate in the private markets asset class on a global and customized basis. For more information, please visit www.hamiltonlane.com or follow Hamilton Lane on Twitter: @hamilton_lane.

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William Brocklehurst

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