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Report: Blackstone to Acquire 80% Stake in Sony Payment Services 

Blackstone Group

Alternative asset manager Blackstone is reportedly set to acquire an 80% stake in Sony Payment Services, a payment service provider under Sony Group

The deal, valued at approximately $280 million, is expected to be announced as soon as Friday (Dec. 22), Bloomberg reported Thursday (Dec. 21), citing an unnamed source. 

Neither Blackstone nor Sony Payment Services immediately replied to PYMNTS’ request for comment. 

Sony Group, renowned for its electronics and entertainment offerings, also operates a financial services business that includes Sony Bank and its subsidiary Sony Payment, according to the report. 

As part of the agreement, Sony Bank will retain a 20% minority stake in the payment business, which has a total valuation of 50 billion yen ($350 million), the report said. 

The transaction comes at a time when Japanese corporations are increasingly open to divesting non-core business holdings, particularly to private equity investors seeking to enhance the value of these operations, per the report. Last month, Panasonic Holdings revealed plans to sell a portion of its automotive systems unit to an affiliate of Apollo Global Management

Sony Payment offers payment processing services for business clients, similar to BlockSquare, according to the report. 

For Blackstone, this marks its first private equity deal in Japan in two years and its initial foray into the financial technology space, the report said. The New York-based firm already has existing private equity portfolio companies in Japan, primarily in the healthcare segment. 

In another recent transaction, pet care online marketplace Rover said on Nov. 29 that it is set to be acquired by Blackstone for $2.3 billion. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, subject to the approval of Rover’s stockholders and regulatory clearances. 

Tushar Gupta, a principal at Blackstone, said in a press release announcing the firm’s acquisition of Rover: “We believe Rover has a significant runway for growth as pet owners increasingly place a premium on high-quality care, flexibility and convenience.”