Tower Records

In March 2003, CVC Asia Pacific Funds co-led alongside Nikko Principal Investments the acquisition of Tower Records Japan Inc from MTS Inc., the owner of the Tower Records brand worldwide at the time. CVC’s initial stake was 15% which has been reduced down to 5% from a number of partial stake sales over the life of the investment.

The business was established in 1979 and now operates 80 stores throughout Japan. Tower Records is the leading foreign music retailer and the third largest overall music retailer in Japan.

Tower Records Japan is comprised of the following businesses: retail (accounting for 89% of sales in 2008), ‘Tower Online’ (online shopping), ‘Napster’ (music downloading service), and other small businesses, including wholesale distribution, marketing, publications, etc..

In March 2010, a share transfer agreement was executed to sell CVC Asia Funds’ remaining interests in Tower Records to Seven & i Holdings (Seven), a leading retail group in Japan.

Year of investment



Music/video retail specialist