Japan’s VisasQ to Buy Coleman Research for $102 Million

VisasQ Inc., a Japanese expert network with over 120,000 consultants, agreed to pay $102 million to buy U.S.-based Coleman Research Group Inc. in a push to expand overseas.

The acquisition, slated to complete on Nov. 1, will triple VisasQ’s sales and almost quadruple its profit, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. It will expand its database of consultants to 400,000 and its international presence to include New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and Raleigh, North Carolina. Coleman Research’s founder Kevin Coleman will take a seat on its board.

VisasQ, founded by a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker, links outside consultants from across industries with more than 800 clients. The company went public in March 2020 just as global markets tanked amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic. But the stock has more than doubled since and VisasQ has begun to expand its operations to Southeast Asia from a base in Singapore.

“Japanese companies need to create new businesses and expand abroad to survive and we have received a lot of requests seeking overseas expertise,” Chief Operating Officer Hidetoshi Uriu said in an interview. “This is a big first step in our own global expansion.”

The company will finance the deal with a combination of debt and equity. VisasQ will issue 7.5 billion yen ($68 million) of preferred shares to a private equity fund operated by IXGS Inc. A further 4 billion yen will come as a loan from Mizuho Bank Ltd. Coleman Research’s existing shareholders and management will also buy 1.4 billion yen of the stock. Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. advised VisasQ on the deal.

The new stock issuance will result in a 33% dilution when the shares convert to common stock at 3,724 yen. VisasQ shares rose as much as 13% to 4,380 yen in early trading on Thursday, the biggest intraday gain in a month.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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