16 January 2018

BDA advises Ant Capital Partners on sale of Apple World to ZIGExN

a portfolio company of

has been acquired by


BDA Partners is pleased to announce that its client, Ant Capital Partners, has agreed to the sale of its portfolio company, Apple World Holdings, to ZIGExN.  The transaction is expected to close on February 9th, 2018.

Apple World operates one of Japan’s largest online hotel booking services. Apple World access to 110,000 hotels in 150 countries around the world through its B2B “Apple World” and B2C “hotelista.jp” platforms. Apple World customers comprise over 3,000 primarily Japanese travel agencies, affiliated companies, and individual travelers.

Transaction highlights
Relationships and sector knowledge: Ant Capital was attracted to BDA’s expertise in the travel technology sector, as well as BDA’s ability to identify and effectively engage with buyers both in Japan and globally. BDA successfully positioned the investment merits of Apple World to drive interest worldwide.

Global execution expertise:  BDA executed a global transaction process that produced a competitive dynamic, an attractive valuation, and favourable economic terms for the seller.

Trusted guidance:  Hands-on involvement and effective communication from BDA’s bankers ensured seamless execution, resulting in an outstanding outcome for Ant Capital.

About Ant Capital Partners

Ant Capital Partners is a private equity firm specializing in private equity and secondary investments. In private equity, the firm participates in buyout, business succession, carve-out, and capital restructuring related investment opportunities. In secondary investments, the firm seeks to acquire minority share securities of unlisted Japanese SMEs (Secondary Direct Investments) and interest in private equity funds held by institutional investors and businesses (Secondary LP Interest Investments). It invests primarily in the internet business (mobile and content), consumer retail, light manufacturing, business services, the electronic business (semiconductors and communications), the bio-healthcare business (new drug development), and the new service business (financial and environmental services) sectors. The firm invests mainly in companies based in Japan, China, and other East Asian countries, and seeks to carry out small-cap buyouts of mature companies between $50m and $150m with enterprise values between $20m and $250m. www.antcapital.jp

About ZIGExN

ZIGExN engages in the life media platform business in Japan. The company operates through three segments: Human Resource, Real Estate, and Lifestyle. It operates Job change EX, a job change and job information site; Dispatch EX, a Website covering job information and agency information of staffing agencies and temporary staffing companies; Part-timer EX, a part time job recruitment site; Nurse recruitment EX, a nurse recruitment/job change site; Pharmacist recruitment EX, a pharmacist recruitment information search site; and Lease Smocker, a search site for real estate rental housing. The company also operates Premium Smocker-ex, a search site for high-end rental condos; Mysumi EX, a site specialized in real estate sale, land use, and leasing management activities; Home purchase EX, a Website that provides information about new and used apartments and houses; Moving quotation EX, a site that offers moving estimate of companies; SmaRE, a marketing support tool for the purchase and sale of real estate properties; Minorino, a used apartment trading portal specialized in renovating properties; and Provider EX, a comparison site that helps in high-speed mobile communication. It operates Secondhand car EX, a used car information site; Car purchase EX, a comparison site for cars; Marriage EX, a marital information portal; Travel EX, a domestic travel site; and SHOP ZIGExN, a new shopping site that allows customers to purchase overseas fashion. ZIGExN was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. zigexn.co.jp

About BDA

BDA Partners is a leader in cross-border investment banking involving Asia. BDA advises on M&A and capital raising. BDA has been consistently owned and managed by the same team since 1996. BDA has a track record of providing independent advice to blue-chip corporate and financial sponsor clients from North America, Europe, and Asia. BDA is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Dubai, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. BDA was named Investment Bank of the Year 2017 by both The M&A Advisor and ACG New York. BDA formed partnerships with William Blair & Company in 2011 and Development Bank of Japan in 2017. www.bdapartners.com

US securities transactions are performed by BDA Partners’ affiliate, BDA Advisors Inc, a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). BDA Advisors Inc. is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and SIPC. In the UK, BDA Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In Hong Kong, BDA Partners (HK) Ltd is licensed and regulated by the Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) to conduct Type 1 and Type 4 regulated activities to professional investors.