Private equity firms have raised record amounts for Asia and are sitting on a cash pile. They just can't seem to spend it in one of the few markets with really big companies for sale: Japan.

Toshiba's sale of its healthcare division is the latest case of an attractive Japanese asset that offers few chances for foreign private equity, even in partnership with a local firm. Canon clinched the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter, after suitors were told they would have to pay more than $6.2 billion. A bid by Konica Minolta with Permira Holdings was said to have missed the threshold.

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