News Release

Carlyle Completes Acquisition of AOI TYO Holdings

Supports Management Buyout

Tokyo, Japan, September 30, 2021 – Studio Cruise Co., Ltd. (“Studio Cruise”), an investment company  operated and managed by global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG), announces that it has successfully acquired all shares of AOI TYO Holdings Inc. (“AOI TYO”), a leading advertising creative production company in Japan. The transaction, which is scheduled to close in December 2021, follows a successful tender offer for the outstanding shares of AOI TYO as part of the management buyout led by Group CEO Mr. Yasuhito Nakae and Group COO Mr. Hiroaki Uekubo. The transaction will enable AOI TYO to accelerate its plans to further develop its digital media capabilities and take advantage of a fast-changing advertising market environment.

In addition to conventional TV ad production, AOI TYO will further develop its capabilities in digital media, a market which is expected to continue growing strongly. AOI TYO will also enhance its ability to provide a wide range of solutions to better address diversifying advertiser needs.

Carlyle and AOI TYO will work together to accelerate the company’s growth through a variety of value creation plans, including hiring high-quality talent, investing in technologies such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), making strategic investments in content that brings together technology and video production, as well as through strategic M&A. Carlyle will support the long-term business development of AOI TYO, by bringing in external talent as management members as well as advisors and by promoting collaboration with companies both in Japan and overseas.

Mr. Nakae (CEO of AOI TYO) commented, “The acceleration of digital transformation creates an exciting opportunity for AOI TYO to grow its business. As AOI TYO seeks to capture this opportunity, I am confident that Carlyle’s expertise and network, as well as its strong track record in the technology sector, will bring significant value to the group.”

Mr. Uekubo (COO of AOI TYO) added, “AOI TYO works with ad agencies for content production, as well as directly with advertisers for communication design. With growing demand for Integrated Marketing Communication, we will strengthen our business in partnership with Carlyle, leveraging our capability to provide full-line services agnostic of media mix, and by strengthening our provision of one-stop solutions for advertisers, from planning to production.”

Mr. Jumpei Ogura, Managing Director of Carlyle Japan, commented “AOI TYO has established a solid position as the top player in high-quality video production. As the media industry undergoes such fast change, we are honoured to have been chosen to partner AOI TYO as it moves to its next phase of growth.”  He added, “TMT is one of Carlyle’s focus sectors globally, and with the acceleration of digital transformation, we will continue to support business transformation and growth initiatives through our investments in this sector, including media, software and system integrators.”

Carlyle has been investing in the technology sector for over 20 years globally, and as of June 30, 2021, had invested more than USD 26 billion in the sector. Carlyle’s media-related investments include VerSe Innovation, LiveU and disguise. This investment will be made from Carlyle’s fourth Japan buyout fund, Carlyle Japan Partners IV (CJP IV).


About AOI TYO Holdings

AOI TYO was established in 2017 as the joint holding company of AOI Pro. and TYO, which engage in strategy development, planning and production of advertising content. The AOI TYO Group today has two core businesses:

  • Content Production, where it is one of the largest TV commercial production operators in Japan, and provides post-production and the planning and production of xR content
  • Communications Design, in which it provides comprehensive execution spanning videos, digital solutions, PR, events and spatial design in the field of ad and marketing solutions.

For more information, visit the company website at:


About Carlyle

Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $276 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2021, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs nearly 1,800 people in 27 offices across five continents. Further information is available at Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.


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