Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, an Australian financial institution, has been exploring the purchase of Aozora Bank, it was learned Monday.
ANZ, which has retained a Japanese law firm and is believed to be using the firm to negotiate the purchase with Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., a U.S. investment fund and the largest shareholder in Aozora Bank, sources said.
Aozora Bank, the successor to the Nippon Credit Bank, has strong ties with regional banks through the issuance of bank debentures. ANZ is believed to be trying to strengthen its operations in Japan with the purchase, the sources said.
An ANZ spokesman told The Yomiuri Shimbun the bank was always looking at options, but said it would not comment on a rumor. ANZ, which operates in 32 countries, has a branch office in Tokyo and Osaka.