April 30, 2010

Nomura Principal Sells Stake In Misawa Home

Nomura Principal Finance Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nomura Holdings, Inc., announced that it will sell its entire stake in Misawa Home Co., to Toyota Home Co., a housing unit of Toyota Motor Co. Nomura Principal invested in Misawa in 2005 and became a top shareholder. Nomura Principal and Toyota, the second biggest shareholder of Misawa, reached the agreement with the understanding that Toyota intends to beef up Toyota Home via strengthening ties with Misawa Home.

April 28, 2010

NTT Urban To Enter Into REIT Business

NTT Urban Development Co., an NTT-affiliated real estate company, announced that it will acquire a majority of the issued shares in Premier REIT Advisors Co., a midsize REIT operator from Ken Co., Sohgoh Real Estate Co., Chuo Mitsui Asset Management Co., Nikko Properties Co., Across Co., and Developer Sanshin Co. NTT Urban, in addition to the core business of leasing and residential property sales, enters the asset management business through this transaction. With a firm REIT market, some real estate companies who have not engaged in the REIT business have started to buy financially distressed or troubled REIT companies since the new financial year began in April.

April 27, 2010

Advantage Partners To Fully Exit From Daiei

Advantage Partners (AP) has sold all its remaining stake in Daiei (TSE 8263) to Deutsche Securities according to Daiei's press release. AP originally invested in Daiei in 2005 with co-investor Marubeni to sponsor a restructuring of the ailing retailer. AP partially exited in 2007 but has been holding a 11.7% stake to date.

April 26, 2010

JPE Acquires Central Hotel Sasebo

Japan Private Equity (JPE), a buyout unit of Japan Asia Investment, has reportedly completed a business succession deal by acquiring Central Hotel Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture through JPE's Kyushu focused regional fund. No financial terms were disclosed.

April 22, 2010

Urban United REIT To Merge With Nippon Commercial

Urban United Investment Corp., a Marubeni-affiliated real estate investment trust, announced that it will merge with Nippon Commercial Investment Corp. Nippon Commercial Investment Corp. has been looking for a sponsor since its parent company Pacific Holdings Inc. filed for chapter 11 last March.

April 21, 2010

ING Takes Over Real Estate Fund From Creed

The Asian real estate investment arm of ING Group announced that it has taken over management of a 104 billion yen private fund from failed property management firm Creed Corp., according to Nikkei. The fund includes roughly 100 holdings throughout Japan including office buildings, residences and commercial facilities.

April 20, 2010

Consumer Confidence at Two-year High

The Cabinet Office announced that the consumer confidence index rose by 1.1 points to 40.9. It is the highest figure since October 2007, when it stood at 42.9. The monthly gain was the third in a row. However, an index below 50 indicates that consumers who expect economic conditions to worsen outnumber those who expect an improvement.

April 19, 2010

MUFG-Affiliated Union Bank Buys Failed US Bank

Union Bank, a California-based institution affiliated with Japan's largest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., announced that it acquired substantially all of the assets and deposits of Tamaipais Bank. It is the first time a failed US bank was brought under a Japanese bank's umbrella.

April 16, 2010

Mitsui Principal Buys Maker of Electric Water Heater

Mitsui & Co., Principal Investments Ltd. announced that it will purchase a 50.1% interest in Nihon Itomic Co., a top manufacturer of industrial-use electric water heaters, from its founding family. Mitsui will assign directors to help jump-start Nihon Itomic's overseas sales.

April 15, 2010

Iwai Sec. To Acquire Cosmo Sec. From CSK

Iwai Securities Co., an Osaka-based listed securities house, announced that it will purchase a 100% stake in Cosmo Securities Co., another Osaka-based securities company from CSK Holding Corp. Iwai will pay 17 billion yen. The deal was once broken up, but both parties started to negotiate again this month and reached an agreement.

April 13, 2010

Orix To Promote Environmental Projects With China

Orix Co., a leading integrated financial services group, announced that it will sign an agreement to promote a strategic alliance with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a top governmental research institution to lead China's IT, biotechnology and other high-tech industries. Through this agreement, Orix and CAS have joined to promote environmental projects in the areas of water power generation, water treatment, solar power, electric vehicles and fuel cells to help China become a low-carbon society.

April 12, 2010

BOJ Minutes: Some Members Dissented From More Caution

The minutes of the BOJ's March 16-17 policy meeting showed that the two Bank of Japan policy members argued against more cautious steps as the economy recovered. Last month BOJ decided by a split vote (5 to 2) to take more liquidity-boosting steps, doubling the size of its December fund-supplying program.

April 09, 2010

Mori Trust REIT Purchases Conrad Tokyo Building

Mori Trust Sogo Reit, Inc.(MTR) has announced that it will acquire Tokyo's Shiodome Building for 110 billion yen from Mori Trust Co. The building has 37 floors, including luxury hotel Conrad Tokyo. MTR also announced that it has decided to borrow 88 billion yen from Mizuho Corporate Bank, SMBC and other banks.

April 08, 2010

Unison Purchases More Ucom Shares From Usen

Unison Capital Inc., one of the major investment firms in Japan, announced that it will acquire more shares of Ucom Corp, a fiber-optic communication firm, from its parent company Usen Corp. Unison already holds about 38% of Ucom's shares and will become the largest shareholder with a 90% interest through this transaction.

April 07, 2010

Corp. Pension Funds Are Back in Black

Japanese corporate pension funds have posted a positive return for the first time in three years during the financial year to March, according to Nikkei. A survey by Rating & Investment Information Inc. shows that returns for roughly 130 pension funds averaged 14% in 2009 on the back of a 37% jump in the Nikkei Stock average. The yen's strength sabotaged a larger recovery. In 2008 they had lost 17% of their value.

April 05, 2010

Mizuho Capital To Sponsor Bankrupt LCD Backlight Maker

Nippon Leiz Co., a LCD backlight manufacturer under a court-led civil rehabilitation process, announced that it has appointed Mizuho Capital Partners Co., a Tokyo-based investment firm, as a restructuring sponsor. Mizuho Capital Partners will acquire operations from Nippon Leiz. Under the plan, Mizuho Capital will set up a new firm in July with capital of about 1~2 billion yen. Nippon Leiz management will be invited to invest in the new firm.

April 02, 2010

BOJ Tankan Improves, but Capital Spending Still Weak

The Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan survey of business sentiment showed the head line index for large manufacturers' sentiment improved to minus 14 in March from minus 25 in December, its best reading since the failure of Lehman. Large manufactures expect the index for June to improve further, to minus 8. But the March tankan also showed that large companies plan to cut their capital expenditures by 0.4% in the fiscal year.

April 01, 2010

Magara Construction Implements MBO

Magara Construction Co., once listed in the 1st section of TSE, which filed for chapter 11 in July 08, has decided to do a management buyout transaction. After bankruptcy, Magara received capital from Dorgan Investment, a Kyushu investment firm, for 100 million yen in September 2009. This time, a team of current management acquired the stake from Dorgan and will try to finalize a restructuring process with help from Hokkoku Bank, Magara's main financing bank.