US firms vie for Vodafone's Japan unit

US investment firms Cerberus Partners and Providence Equity Partners will likely launch a $15-billion bid to take over Vodafone Group's Japanese subsidiary, a Kyodo News report said.


The report said the takeover bid, which was expected to be a leveraged buyout that would use the assets of the acquisition target as collateral to obtain funding for the planned purchase, would be one of the largest such deals ever struck in East Asia.


However, the takeover proposal had yet to be presented to the British mobile phone company, the report quoted sources as saying.


The report said Cerberus had clinched a number of high-profile acquisition deals involving Japanese concerns, including Aozora Bank and Seibu Holdings. Providence, on the other hand, specialized in investment in the telecom sector, including wireless companies, the report added.