Blackstone’s Private Equity funds have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Sony Payment Services Inc. (SPSV), a payment service provider in Japan, from Sony Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Group.
This acquisition marks Blackstone’s first foray into the fintech sector in Japan. Sony Bank will retain a portion of its equity in SPSV, continuing as a minority investor and supporting the company’s future growth.
Established by Sony Group in 1995 and becoming an independent entity in 2006, SPSV has grown to be one of Japan’s top payment service providers.
The company offers a secure and high-speed infrastructure for processing online payments, catering to both customers and businesses.
Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone, remarked on the long-standing partnership between Sony and Blackstone, dating back to the early days of Blackstone’s founding.
He expressed pride in partnering again with a leading corporation in Japan, emphasizing the importance of the Japanese market to Blackstone.
Atsuhiko Sakamoto, Head of Private Equity at Blackstone Japan, highlighted the strategic significance of investing in SPSV.
He pointed out the robust secular growth in sectors like financial technology and the digitalization of the economy. Sakamoto affirmed Blackstone’s commitment to leveraging its operational and technological expertise to support SPSV’s growth.
Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman and CEO of Sony Group, acknowledged SPSV’s role in leading Japan’s cashless evolution for over three decades. He expressed confidence in Blackstone’s ability to support SPSV’s continued growth and success.
Keiji Minami, President and CEO of Sony Bank, noted the importance of adapting to the rapidly evolving landscape of cashless payments and payment diversification. He identified Blackstone as the ideal partner to bring a global perspective and expertise to SPSV.
Hidehiko Nakamura, President and CEO of Sony Payment Services, shared his vision for SPSV’s future growth, boosted by Blackstone’s partnership. He emphasized the need for investment in IT and talent, especially given the electronic payment industry’s growth in Japan.
Japan, as the world’s fourth-largest electronic card payment market, has significant potential for growth in this sector. SPSV, bolstered by Japan’s JPY 22.7 trillion e-commerce market and the global shift towards cashless transactions, is well-positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.
Blackstone’s investment in SPSV follows its significant acquisitions in Japan, including Alinamin Pharmaceutical and AYUMI Pharmaceutical.