Merrill Shutters Tokyo Private Equity Office

Apr 10 2009 | 8:11am ET

Merrill Lynch’s private equity arm has closed its Tokyo office, becoming the latest alternative investments firm to cut back in Asia.

Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity shuttered its four-year-old Japanese office last month, Financial News reports. The firm said it did not foresee an upswing in dealmaking in the country, where it has struggled and complete just one deal, in 2003.

“Our view is that the immediate level of buyout activity in Japan is unlikely to be significant,” Matthew Turner, head of Europe at MLGPE, told FN.

The private equity business still boasts three offices in the Asia-Pacific region, in Hong Kong, Mumbai, India, and Sydney.

The Tokyo office’s two managing directors, Terutoma Mitsumasu and Hidetoshi Shibata, have left Merrill. Mitsumasu, who led the office, joined Merrill in 2005 from Shinsei Bank’s p.e. team, while Shibata came to the firm in 2007 from MKS Partners.

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