There are a number of reasons to complete a merger and acquisition transaction - increase market share, acquire a competitor, obtain patents, obtain customers, expand product lines and others. But weakening the currency? That is new.
An August 24 article in the Japanese business newspaper, Nikkei Veritas, reports that the Japanese government is encouraging Japanese businesses to make overseas' acquisitions to weaken the yen against the dollar. The strong yen has played havoc with the Japanese economy for a number of years, making its exports less competitive, squeezing the profit margins of its exporting enterprises, and exacerbating deflation by making imports cheaper. So the Japanese government is doing what it can to make the yen weaker, especially against the dollar.
One of these actions is to encourage overseas' acquisitions. It has established a $100 billion fund to help Japanese firms to acquire overseas businesses and concession rights to natural resources. In fact, the article points out, Japanese businesses have already stepped up their overseas acquisitions and investments, noting that the number of overseas acquisitions by Japanese companies is at the highest level since 2000.
But the article calls this a "highly unconventional" form of currency intervention. Its unintended consequences could include loss of jobs in Japan to foreign countries, export of technology, and encouraging the "hollowing-out" of Japanese manufacturing. It will be interesting to see if this strategy of weakening the currency creates more good than harm.