Japanese stationery and office products manufacturer Kokuyo ties up with Pentel
Pentel is a world leader in gel-ink pens.
Japanese stationery and office products manufacturer Kokuyo has indirectly taken a 37% stake in compatriot pen maker Pentel through an investment fund, the company said.
Kokuyo, the country's leading maker of stationery products with a strength in notebooks, will invest 10.1 billion yen ($92 million) in a fund operated by Mercuria Investment, which currently serves as the largest shareholder of Pentel. Kokuyo will become the fund's, and through it, Pentel's top shareholder.
Kokuyo said that it had been sounded out by Mercuria when the investment firm began to consider a sale of ILP and that it came to the conclusion that “an alliance with Pentel has solid strengths that will enable both the company and Pentel to further improve our corporate value and allow us to make the leap to becoming a top player in the global stationery market”.
Pentel is an unlisted company known for producing the world's first modern mechanical pencil in 1960. More recently its colorful gel ink ballpoint pen has won a devout following around the world.
Kokuyo aims for growth in Asia, where stationery demand is expected to increase, and other markets by tapping Pentel's overseas sales network.