March 30, 2011

Mizuho Corp Bank To Join In Mega Turnaround Fund

Mizuho Corporate Bank, the investment banking unit of Mizuho Group, will join other major Japanese banks in a business revitalization megafund, according to Nikkei. The fund was established by the Development Bank of Japan, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mitsubishi Corp. It will be operated by Japan Industrial Solution Ltd., which the banks formed last September.

March 29, 2011

Mitsubishi Real Estate Buys Tokyo Properties From Lone Star

Mitsubishi Estate Co,. a top-ranked real estate company, acquired an office building and other property in central Tokyo's Akasaka area from US investment fund Lone Star, according to Nikkei. The deal has been valued at roughly 90 billion yen. The earthquake has cast uncertainty on prospects for the office building sector, but Mitsubishi Estate expects that owning property in prime Tokyo locations will help it increase its earnings over the medium and long term.

March 28, 2011

AvanSrate To Postpone IPO

Following RaQualia, AvanSrate Inc., a PE-backed LCD glass manufacturer, announced that AvanSrate has decided to postpone its pending public offering due to the volatile markets brought about by the Tohoku earthquake. Another newcomer, Semitec Co., a manufacturer of sensor-based electronic components, has also turned down the IPO.

March 24, 2011

Disaster Damage Estimate At 16-25 Trillion Yen

The Cabinet Office estimates direct damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at 16-25 billion yen, significantly more than the roughly 10 trillion yen from the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, according to Nikkei. The Cabinet Office also indicates that Japan's gross domestic product will likely shrink by 0.2% to 0.5% in fiscal 2011. However, the actual impact on the Japanese economy will likely be larger than the Cabinet Office's estimates as they have not factored in the ripple effects from the trouble at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as well as rolling blackouts and dampened consumer sentiment.

March 23, 2011

More Quake-Damaged Factories Resuming Operations

An increasing number of companies are restarting factories that were temporarily shut down due to earthquake damage, according to Nikkei. Asahi Breweries Ltd, the largest beer brewer, resumed operations on Tuesday at its plant in Ibaraki Prefecture. Hitachi Ltd., the electrical conglomerate, returned to partial operation at three of the seven plants suspended. Kao Corp., the largest maker of lifestyle products, restarted a portion of its Tochigi Prefecture factory that makes paper diapers, one of the most demanded relief supplies. Nikon Corp., a major camera maker, announced that five factories will resume operations Wednesday.

March 22, 2011

Advantest Lands Deal To Buy Verigy For $907.65 Million

Advantest Corp., Japan's top measuring instrument manufacturer, will purchase US semiconductor testing equipment maker, Verigy Ltd. for 15 dollars a share in a deal worth $907.65 million (or about 74 billion yen) under a basic agreement, according to Nikkei. The acquisition is expected to make Advantest the world's leading supplier of chip testers.

March 18, 2011

FSA and TSE To Loosen Rules For Reporting Deadlines

The Financial Services Agency and the Tokyo Stock Exchange decided to exempt companies upended by the earthquake from meeting earnings announcement deadlines, according to Nikkei. The FSA and the TSE will ease financial reporting and listing rules, allowing those that fail to submit financial reports by the deadlines to remain listed. The Osaka Securities Exchange is expected to take similar steps.

March 17, 2011

RaQualia Pharma Inc. To Postpone IPO

RaQualia Pharma Inc., a PE-backed bio venture firm, announced that RaQualia has decided to postpone its pending public offering due to the extraordinary market conditions brought on by the earthquake. There will be a discontinuance of the sale and issuance of stock this time. RaQualia was founded in 2008 via EBO (Employee Buy-Out) from Pfizer Inc., a global pharmaceutical firm, with NIF SMBC Venture Capital and Coller Capital, a European private equity firm. RaQualia will continue its efforts to list on the JASDAQ Growth Market in the near future with the cooperation of The Daiwa Securities Capital Markets Co., Ltd., an investment banking unit of Daiwa Securities Group,.

March 16, 2011

Mizuho To Buy Brokerage and Trust Bank Units

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc (MHFG)., a listed mega financial group, announced that MHFG has determined the basic policies of turning Mizuho Trust Banking Co., Ltd., a listed trust unit of Mizuho Group., Mizuho Securities Co. Ltd., a listed securities unit of Mizuho Group, and Mizuho Invester Securities Co., Ltd., a listed retail-oriented securities unit of Mizuho Group and Mizuho Bank Ltd., a banking unit of Mizuho Group, into wholly-owned subsidiaries via a share exchange with MHFG. Those listed affiliates will be delisted between late August and early September.

March 15, 2011

PE-Backed LCD Glass Maker To Go Public

AvanSrate Inc., a LCD glass manufacturer, announced last week that AvanSrate will be listed on The Tokyo Stock Exchange on the 12th of April. The Carlyle Group, a global mega buyout firm, invested in the firm in June 2008 and is the largest equity holder (50.64%). Hoya Corp., an optical technology-oriented manufacturer, is the second largest equity holder (45.67%).

March 14, 2011

Thank you for your kind support

We would like to thank all of you for your kind attention to and support for the devastating situation in the Tohoku region, the northern part of Japan's main island. The images of a tsunami-hit Tohoku is unreal and really sad. It is certainly the worst we have ever seen and we pray for the safety of the people and their early recovery to a more normal life. Tokyo is still experiencing a chain of medium-sized aftershocks. It is also facing certain inconveniences, but these are really "nothing" compared to what happened in Tohoku and the strength of the quake Tokyo had on Friday. The situation in Tokyo is exactly the same as last Thursday. As was the case in Kobe earthquake 16 years ago, it may take sometime for the full effects of the event to be felt.

1st Holding To Acquire PE-Backed Security Software Maker

1st Holding, Inc., a newly-listed business software developer, announced that 1st Holding acquired 100% interest in VarioSecure Networks Inc., a PE-backed internet security service firm, from Ant Capital Partners, a Tokyo-based private equity firm. The price is reported as 6.7 billion yen. VarioSecure went private via MBO with Ant Capital in 2009. 1st Holding was also invested in by Advantage Partners, a Tokyo-based mega buyout firm, in 2004 and 1st Holding went public in 2010.

March 11, 2011

Bain May Buy PE-Backed Restaurant Operator

Bain Capital, a US mega buyout firm, is in the final stage of negotiations with Nomura Principal Finance, the investment unit of Nomura Group, to acquire Skylark Co., Ltd., a major family restaurant chain operator, according to the Nikkei. The proposed deal is estimated at nearly 300 billion yen. Skylark went private via MBO with Nomura Principal in 2006. It has been said that Skylark has had a very difficult time with fierce price competition as well as weak economic growth.

March 09, 2011

Mizuho Capital Partners Exit Remaining Shares In Vantec

Hitachi Transport System Co., Ltd., a listed logistics unit of Hitachi Group, announced that Hitachi Transport make a tender offer for Vantec Group Holding co., Ltd., a PE-backed international distribution firm,. Mizuho Capital Partners, a 39% equityholder in Vantec, agreed to accept the offer. The TOB price is set at 233,500 yen, a 92.93% premium over a 3-month average. Mizuho Capital Partners, a Tokyo-based private equity firm, invested in 2003 and Vantec went public in 2007.

March 08, 2011

Sojitz To Tender Offer For Data Center

Sojitz Corp., a 6th-ranked trading companies, announced that Sojitz make a tender offer for Sakura Internet Inc., an internet data center servicer. Sojitz, a 29.3% shareholder in Sakura Internet, plans to aquire additional shares to make it a consolidated subsidiary. The TOB price is set at 230,000, a 53% premium over a 3-month average. Sojitz and Sakura Internet agree to keep Sakura Internet's shares listed as a publicly traded stock.They also entered into the Business Alliance Agreement in the aim of facilitating swift strategic decision-making and executiona and more fully utilizing the Sojitz Group's network and opertional know-how.

March 07, 2011

Business Software Maker To Go Private via MBO

Business Trust Co., Ltd., a developer of accounting package software, announced that Business Trust approved the tender offer from Yoshiki Holding Co., an investment vehicle by the founding family. The TOB price is set at 35,000, a 46.6% premium over a 3-month average. Since the demand for IT-related investments has been sluggish across the wide variety of industries, some of IT players have started to implement their own strategies like M&A, MBO etc.

March 04, 2011

ITOCHU To Acquire UK Tire Retailer From PAI Fund

ITOCHU Co., a 4th-ranked trading company, announced that ITOCHU and ITOCHU Europe PLC have agreed to acqurie all the shares of the Kwik-Fit Group, an independent tire retailer in the UK and Europe, from PAI Partners, a European private equity firm, for £637 million. Since ITOCHU operates STAPLETON LTD, a UK-based leading wholesaler,
the Japanese trading house plans to enhance its tire business through this acquisition.

March 02, 2011

US Real Estate Fund To Buy Japanese Property Mgr

Aetos Japan, a Japan-focused US property fund, plans to acquire the remaining 50% interest in Simplex Investment Advisory Inc., a real estate fund manager, from Goldman Sachs, according to Nikkei. In 2007, Aetos and Goldman together bought the then-listed Simplex, whose portfolio consists mainly of Tokyo office buildings. Aetos by making it a wholly owned subsidiary will provide fresh capital and lift its value over the long run.

March 01, 2011

Carlyle To Buy PE-Backed Bearing Parts Maker

The Carlyle Group, a global buyout firm, plans to acquire Tsubaki Nakashima Co., a major manufacturer of precision balls bearings, for about 70 billion yen from Nomura Group, according to Nikkei. The bearing parts maker went private with Nomura Principal Finance, one of Nomura's investment units, in 2007. Carlyle will help this technology-oriented maker expand its business abroad.