Renown, one of Japan's best-known clothes makers, is set to come under the control of a Chinese textile maker in what would be the biggest investment by a Chinese investor in a public Japanese company.
The investment by Shandong Ruyi, one of China's leading makers of high-quality cotton and wool, highlights Chinese manufacturers' move up the value chain to acquire well-known brands.
Ruyi will pay about Y4bn ($44m) for a 41 per cent stake in Renown, which runs brands such as D'Urban and Anya Hindmarch, although the deal is subject to approval by the Japanese group's shareholders.
如意集团将出资约40亿日元（合4400万美元），收购Renown 41%的股份，但该交易仍有待Renown股东的批准。Renown运营着“D'Urban”和“安雅•希德玛芝”(Anya Hindmarch)等品牌。
The investment is one of a small but growing number of Chinese investments in Japanese technologies and brands. Last year, Suning Appliances paid about Y800m for a 27 per cent stake in Laox, a well-known consumer electronics retailer.
中国对日本技术和品牌的投资不多，但数量正在增长，上述这笔投资正是其中之一。去年，苏宁电器(Suning Appliances)出资约8亿日元收购了Laox 27%的股份。Laox是日本一家知名的家电零售商。
In the first three months of this year there have been nine investments in Japan by Chinese investors, including two by investors based in Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Recof Data, which provides M&A information.
While small, the number represents 27 per cent of all foreign mergers and acquisitions in Japan in that period, Recof said.
Qiu Yafu, Ruyi's chairman, said the Chinese company had been looking for a company that has famous brands, networks and management expertise.
“D'Urban already has several stores in China, is well-known among high earners and is very popular. We have chosen about seven brands that Renown owns [to build up in China],” he said.
Minoru Kitabatake, Renown's president, said the tie-up would allow the struggling 100-year-old Japanese group to boost its capital and expand overseas, particularly in fast-growing China, as well as reduce its cost base.