May 31, 2010

J-Will and Daikyo To Sponsor Failed Condo. Developer

Anabuki Construction Inc., a bankrupt condominium developer, announced that a consortium of Daikyo Inc., one of the largest condo. developers, and J-Will Partners, a Tokyo-based investment firm, won the bid for the firm from among 30 contenders. Since Anabuki filed for court protection from creditors under the corporate rehabilitation law last November, the bankruptcy administrator has held a couple of auctions to select the sponsor of Anabuki's rehabilitation.

May 28, 2010

Jobless rate Up to 5.1% In April

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication announced that Japan's unemployment rate rose 0.1% from March to 5.1% in April. The number of people without jobs total 3.56 million, up 100,000 from the previous year. It is the 18th straight month of rising unemployment.

May 27, 2010

Exports Up 40% In April; Trade Surplus Soars

The Ministry of Finance announced that Japan's trade surplus in April was 742.3 billion yen compared to 48.9 billion yen in the same month a year earlier. Japan's exports rose 40.4% in April compared to a year earlier on strong overseas demand for Japanese cars and electrical parts. Exports to Europe were strong, up by 19.8%; exports to the US gained 34.5% and those to Asia climbed 45.3%.

May 26, 2010

Longreach To Acquire Sanyo Electric Logistics via Tender Offer

Longreach Group will acquire Sanyo Electric Logistics (JASDAQ 9379), a provider of logistic solutions, through a tender offer. The tender offer price is JPY 1,750 per share, a 54% premium over the last 6-month average trading price. The tender offer value is JPY 17.9 billion (USD 200 million). The company's annual sales were JPY 38.1 billion (USD 423 million) and operating profits were JPY 2.2 billion (USD 24.4 million) for the March 2010 period. Sanyo Electric Co. (TSE6794), the company's parent which holds a 57.7% stake, will sell its entire stake in the tender offer as a part of its restructuring plan. Longreach plans to delist the company after the completion of the tender offer. Sanyo Electric will continue to outsource distribution to the company and plans to acquire a 5% stake after Longreach completes its acquisition.

May 25, 2010

Aozora Bank Set Up Tohoku Region's First Public-Private SME Recovery Fund

Aozora Group announced that it will establish the "Utsukushima Mirai Fund" with the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan, the Credit Guarantee Corporation of Fukushima and 10 financial institutions in Fukushima Prefecture. This public-private partnership fund will support the recovery of small and medium enterprises in Fukushima Prefecture.

May 24, 2010

Renown To Become Unit of China's Shandong Ruyi

Renown Inc., a struggling apparel maker, announced that it will issue new shares worth about 4 billion yen to Shandong Ruyi, a major Chiesen textile company. Shandong Ruyi will be its largest shareholder, to surpass Neoline Holdings, a Tokyo-based investment firm, who bought its 24.9% stake in 2008.

May 21, 2010

Daiwa Fund To Invest In Taiwanese Service Provider

Daiwa Quantum Capital Partners 1, a pan-Asian growth capital fund managed by Daiwa Quantum Capital Limited, has announced that it will invest 15.6 million dollars in Alchip Technologies Inc., a Taiwanese silicon design and manufacturing services company. The proceeds will be used for the expansion of the company's design capacity and working capital.

May 20, 2010

Japan Q1 GDP Up 4.9%

The Cabinet Office announced that real gross domestic product increased 4.9% from the previous quarter on an annualized pace in the January-March period and 4.2% annualized in the fourth quarter of 2009. Q1 growth was led by a recovery in exports as well as gains in consumer spending and business investments. The GDP deflator was down 3.0% from a year earlier after falling 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

May 18, 2010

Shinsei and Aozora Banks Scrap Merger Plan Officially

Shinsei Bank Ltd. and Aozora Bank Ltd, both mid-size Japanese banks with major US shareholders called off a planned merger. The two companies said that they had parted ways after 10 months of unsuccessful negotiations. The announcement was widely expected.

May 17, 2010

CAS Capital To Sponsor a MBO of Marktec Corporation

CAS Capital has announced that it will sponsor a take-private MBO of Marktec Corporation (JASDAQ 4954), a maker of non destructive testing (NDT) products, through a tender offer. The tender offer price is JPY 1,400, a 42.6% premium over the last 6 month average trading price. The tender offer value is JPY 6 billion (USD 65 million). CAS plans up to JPY 3.52 billion (USD 38 million) of equity investment and up to JPY 2.83 billion (USD 30.8 million) of bank loans. The company forecasts its annual sales at JPY 4.1 billion (USD 44.5 million) and operating profit atf JPY 0.39 billion (USD 4.2 million) for the September 2010 period.

CITIC Capital Japan to acquire Higashiyama Film

CITIC Capital has announced that it will acquire a majority stake in Higashiyama Film (JASDAQ 4244), a maker of coating films, through a tender offer. The tender offer price is JPY 650, a 12.07% premium over the last 6 month average trading price. The company's founding family has agreed to sell its 55.27% stake in the company through the tender offer. The tender offer value is up to JPY 1.34 billion (USD 14.6 million). The company forecasts its half year sales at JPY 3.4 billion (USD 37 million) and operating profit at JPY 45 million (USD 0.49 million) for the 6 month period ending June 2010.

Machine Orders Rise For First Time in 3 Months

The Japanese Cabinet office announced that machinery orders rose 5.4% in May. It was the first gain in three months and better than the forecast percentage of around 5%. In February, it was revised down to -3.8%.

May 14, 2010

Properst Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Properst Co., a Japanese property developer, announced that it filed for bankruptcy protection with the Tokyo District Court. Properst has 55.4 billion yen ($600 million) in liabilities. It is the second filing by a listed real estate company this year.

May 13, 2010

Longreach Seen As Leading Bidder For Sanyo Logistics

Longreach Group Ltd., a HK-based investment firm, has emerged as the top prospect to buy Sanyo Electric Co's subsidiary Sanyo Electric Logistics Co., according to Nikkei. Ten or so companies were selected as potential buyers in the first round of bidding for the logistics firm this February. The selection process has narrowed them down to a few candidates, such as Longreach and Nippon Express Co., but the investment firm appears to have offered the best terms. Sanyo Electric Logistics is listed on the Jasdaq market and enjoys group sales of 38.1 billion yen with an operating profit of about 2.2 billion yen.

May 12, 2010

Public-Private Fund To Invest Australian Water Company

Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), public-private fund announced that Mtisubishi Corporation, JGC Corporation, Manila Water Company Inc. and INCJ have agreed to acquire United Utilities PLC's 100% owned subsidiary United Utilities Australia Pty Limited and its Australian related entities. Transaction value is approximately AUD 225 million, comprising AUD 176 million in cash and AUD 49 million in net debt. The participation of INCJ means this is the first water project involving a Japanese public-private consortium outside of Japan.

May 11, 2010

Public-Private Fund To Invest In Semi-Conductor Start-up

Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), a public-private fund, announced that it will invest 2.6 billion yen in Genusion Inc., a Kobe-located fabless flash memory developer. Genusion uses proceeds to develop innovative flash memory technology for customers. It is the second investment for INCJ to support venture companies.

May 10, 2010

Nippon Mirai to Sell Daiichi Precision Mold to Minebea

Nippon Mirai Capital, a turnaround focused independent buyout fund, will sell its 100% stake in Daiichi Precision Mold, a maker of plastic mold, to Minebea (TSE 6479) according to Minebea's press release. Nippon Mirai originally invested in Daiichi Precision in 2005. No financial terms were disclosed.

May 07, 2010

March Jobless Rate Rises To 5.0%

Japan's unemployment rate for March rose 0.1% to 5.0%, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported last week. The record high was 5.6% in July 2009. Job losses remained largely in manufacturing, with the pace of decline in that sector slowing slightly compared to that of the previous month. On the other hand medical, health care and welfare, accommodations as well as eating and drinking service sectors continued to create jobs.

May 06, 2010

Public-Private Fund To Invest In Wind Power Start-up

Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), public-private fund, has decided to purchase a 1.1 billion yen stake in Zephyr Corp., a start-up developing small wind power generators, according to the Nikkei. This is the fund's first investment in a venture company. The Tokyo-based wind power company will use the proceeds to expand its production facilities and overseas sales offices.
Zephyr has fundraised from many VCs and is expected to go public in 2014.