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While terms were not disclosed, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said the company, Japan's biggest private-sector life insurer, would pay about 55 billion yen ($488.37 million). Nippon Life and Carlyle declined to comment on the price.
Nippon Life, which will have two seats on TCW's board, said the transaction should close this month, pending regulatory approval.
The insurer is the latest Japanese company to increase its presence in asset management, which is seen as a promising way to accelerate growth amid low interest rates and stricter capital regulations at home.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc has said it is ready to spend up to 1 trillion yen ($8.88 billion) in acquisitions.
Yet many officials at Japanese companies acknowledge difficulties in asset management deals, with retention of fund managers the biggest challenge.
"We'd be best starting with a minority stake and building it up after we gain the trust of key staff," the executive said.
Los Angeles-based TCW provides products in fixed income, equities, emerging markets and alternative investments. It had $191.6 billion in assets under management as of the end of 2016, with slightly more than 80 percent in U.S. bonds.
Such moves are gaining traction because keeping portfolio companies longer can boost returns by eliminating the recycling of capital, as one asset gets sold and another is acquired. By avoiding such periods when investors' capital sits idle, private equity firms can promise lucrative and steady profits.
($1 = 112.6200 yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Additional reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)