Nomura Among 21 Firms Said to Apply for Japan Post IPO Role

Aug 29, 2014 5:05 am ET

(Updates with applicant breakdown in fifth paragraph.)

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Nomura Holdings Inc. and 20 other Japanese and foreign brokerages submitted applications to manage Japan Post Holdings Co.’s initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Nomura Securities Co., Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Bank of America Corp. and SBI Securities Co. are among the firms that filed proposals to the Ministry of Finance today, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential.

Local and overseas brokerages are seeking to play a leading role in what could be Japan’s largest state asset sale, exceeding the divestiture of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. in 1987. Japan Post was valued at 12.4 trillion yen ($119 billion) as of March 2013, according to a ministry report.

Spokesmen for the Finance Ministry, Nomura, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and SBI Securities declined to comment.

The government will select about 10 lead underwriters for the share sale as soon as the end of September, a Finance Ministry official said, asking not to be named in accordance with its policy. Fifteen domestic and six foreign firms applied, another ministry official said.

Japan Post and the ministry plan to conduct the IPO as early as next year. The offering may exceed 4 trillion yen, the then Postal Reform Minister Mikio Shimoji said in October 2012.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi drove efforts to privatize the postal system in the early 2000s. The government has said proceeds from the sale would help pay for rebuilding from the country’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Japan Post Group, which consists of the holding company and its banking, insurance and delivery units, had about 292 trillion yen in assets at the end of June, an earnings report showed this month. That’s more than the annual economic output of France, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--With assistance from Kazu Hirano and Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo.