DALLAS Associates First Capital Corp. said Thursday that it has agreed to buy a majority interest in Unimat Life, the ninth-largest consumer finance company in Japan. Terms were not disclosed.
The deal carries out Associates Firsts stated strategy of adding to its business in Japan even though the company itself is being bought. On Sept. 6, Citigroup Inc. announced that it had agreed to buy Associates First in a deal that is slated to close this year.
Associates First said the Unimat Life transaction, which is scheduled to close this week, will put it among the top four consumer finance companies in Japan. Unimat Life is part of the Unimat Group of companies. Associates First also operates AIC Corp. and DIC Finance Corp., the sixth- and seventh-largest Japanese consumer finance companies.
Earlier this year, we said we would move aggressively to take advantage of opportunities resulting from industry consolidation, said Roy A. Guthrie, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of Associates First. Through our new partnership with Unimat Life, we have demonstrated our intent to continue our focus on growth in this important market.
The finance company said its Japanese operation, which was started in 1979, will have $10 billion of receivables, serviced by 900 branches and 5,800 employees, by Oct. 1.