TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese state-backed fund INCJ said it has sold all but a token portion of its stake in semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics, offloading 279 billion yen ($1.84 billion) worth of shares.

The shares have primarily been sold to overseas institutional investors, INCJ said.

The sale price of 2,143 yen per share represented a discount of 8.01% on Renesas’ closing share price of 2,329.5 yen on Thursday, the fund said in a separate statement on Friday.

Renesas shares had dropped 4.5% to 2,224 yen by mid-morning on Friday.

INCJ previously held 6.65% of Renesas’ shares, it said in a statement on Thursday. It has retained a marginal holding of 75 shares, versus 130 million shares held.

The deal marks the fifth-largest block trade in Asia so far this year and the second-largest in Japan since 2020, according to Dealogic data.

The fund first invested in Renesas in 2013, acquiring 69% of the struggling chipmaker which at the time was the world’s leading maker of microcontroller chips used in cars.

Renesas had been booking huge losses in the face of intense competition from overseas rivals such as Samsung Electronics.

Japanese taxpayer-funded INCJ, established in 2009 as a temporary scheme to promote new industries and take on risky, long-term investments, headed the Renesas bailout to counter a takeover bid from U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co. The Japanese government feared at the time that Renesas technology would end up in foreign hands.

INCJ has been steadily selling off its holding in Renesas in recent years and is set to exit all of its investments by March 2025.

($1 = 151.2700 yen)

(Reporting by Anton Bridge; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Edmund Klamann)

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