April 28, 2011

J-Star in Another Healthcare Deal

J-Star, focusing on small-mid cap buyouts in Japan, has acquired a majority stake in HCM, KK., which provides in-home care services in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Aichi and Tohoku areas and operates a care home near Tokyo. HCM has approx. 1,200 employees (incl. part-time staffs) to serve over 100,000 elderly people in Japan. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The debt was provided by Aozora bank.

HCM is the second of J-Star's investments in the healthcare sector following Apo Plus, a contract marketing service provider, in last September. With another transaction, J Star will be exhausting its investable capital.

J-Star press release: http://www.j-star.co.jp/pdf/11-04-28_HCM.pdf
HCM website; http://www.hc-m.jp/eng/.

Canon To Revise Down Yearly Forecast Slightly

Canon, a global high-tech giant, announced that its net profit for the January-March quarter fell 2% on the year to 55.4 billion yen. Sales grew 11% to 839.1 billion yen, driven by strong sales of monochrome copiers in emerging nations as well as robust growth in sales of office equipment.Canon lowered its earnings forecast for the year through December 2011, with sales expected to inch up 1% to just 3.73 trillion yen, 370 billion yen lower than its previous estimate. Net profit will likely fall 11% to 220 billion yen, down from its previous estimate of a 310 billion yen profit.In its quarerly report, Canon has been directly affected by the earthquake including losses form damaged buildings and inventory, and has incurred such indirect effects as electricity restrictions, supply shortages of components and a decline in consumer spending in the Japanese market. These factors and others would negatively affect Canon's operating results and financial position. Canon seeks the restoration of production facilities and rebuilding of production systems.

April 26, 2011

Cannon Marketing To Tender Offer For Medical Marketer

Cannon Marketing Co., a marketing unit of Cannon Group, announced that Cannon Marketing has made a tender offer for ELK CO., an Osaka-based medical equipments sales company. ELK approved the tender offer. The TOB price is set at 670 yen, a 71.36% premium over a 3-month average. Cannon plans to beef up the medical division through this acquisition.

Ito En Acquired PE-Backed Dairy Maker

Ito En Ltd., a top-ranked beverage company, acquired all shares of Chichiyasu Co., a Hiroshima-based dairy product manufacturer, from J-WILL Partners, a Tokyo-based midsized buyout firm, for an estimated 10 billion yen, according to Nikkei. Ito En plans to expand businesses other than its main green-tea products through this acquisition since Chichiyasu has been renowned for its yogurt products.

April 25, 2011

KDDI, GREE To Invest $50 mil In Android-related Fund

DCM, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, announced the launch of the world's first Android-focused fund "A-Fund". The A-fund, which targets $100 million, will focus on startups which develop compelling solutions by taking advantage of Android's rapid growth. The A-Fund's anchor investors include GREE Inc., Japan's largest mobile gaming social network, and KDDI Corp., Japan's second largest mobile operator, with each investing $25 million.

April 20, 2011

March Consumer Confidence Marks Sharpest Fall After Quake

The Cabinet Office announced that the Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 38.6 in March from 41.2 in February. Confidence among Japanese consumers deteriorated after the March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. All 4 components of the CCI (livelihoods, income growth, employment conditions, and the timing of new durable goods purchases) marked declines.

April 19, 2011

Itochu, Sumitomo To Invest In US Wind Project

Itochu Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. have taken roughly 20% stakes in US project The Shepherds Flat project, to build and operate one of the world's largest wind farm in Oregon, according to Nikkei. The two trading houses spent some $200 million apiece to buy their interests from General Electric Co., which previously owned a 90% stake. Google Inc. has bought a roughly 10% stake as well. These alternative-energy investments have been accelerated following the Japan's nuclear disaster.

April 18, 2011

Tepco To Sell KDDI Shares To Fund Compensation

Tokyo Electric Power Co., plans to sell shares it holds in KDDI Corp., a major telecom company, to help pay the cost of compensating those who have suffered losses due to the accident at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to Nikkei. Tepco was KDDI's third-largest shareholder, owning about an 8% stake. KDDI's market cap. is about 2.2 trillion yen.

Toyota To Run Operation At Half Volume In Domestic Plants

According to the press release of Toyota Motor Corporation on the 15th of April, as Toyota continues to address its production situation following the disaster, it has decided that vehicle production from May 10 to June 3 will proceed at approximately 50% of its normal rate. Toyota previously announced that 5 European production plants would be suspended for several days in late April and early May to manage available parts supply. In North America, production at vehicle-production/engine and parts plants is to be halted on April 15, 18, 21, 22 and 25. No decisions have yet been made regarding production after April 25.

April 13, 2011

Cloud Computing Start-up Raised 113 million yen

Midokura Co., Ltd. a cloud-specialized software company, announced it raised 113 million yen from Bit-isle inc., a listed data center, NTT Investment Partners, an investment unit of NTT group, 1st Holding Co,. an AP-backed listed software maker, and other angel investors. Midokura was founded in 2010.

April 12, 2011

Foreigners Net Stock Buyers For 6th Straight Month

Overseas investors were net buyers of Japanese stocks for the sixth straight month in March, with purchases exceeding sales by roughly 1.18 trillion yen, according to the International Transactions in Securities report by Ministry of Finance. They purchased 28.27 trillion yen worth of Japanese stocks, with sales totaling 27.09 trillion yen. They also were net buyers of medium and long term Japanese bonds for the third straight month with purchases exceeding sales by 498.7 billion yen, while being net sellers of short-term Japanese bonds with sales exceeding purchases by 2.33 trillion yen.

April 11, 2011

PE-backed Yumeshin To Tender Offer For Fullcast Tech.

Yumeshin Holding Co., a construction-based outsourcing service provider, announced that Yumeshin make a tender offer for Fullcast Technology, a listed light labor staffing agency. The Fullcast Group, a parent company of Fullcast Technology( a 68.6% equity holder), approved the tender offer. The TOB price is set at 35,320 yen, a 28.8% premium over 3 month average. DRC Capital, a Japanese mid-focused private equity firm, invested in Yumeshin in 2007.

S Korea's A&P Financial Likely To Buy Takefuji

A&P Financial Co., a major South Korean-based consumer lender, is expected to gain priority negotiation rights in its move to acquire failed Japanese counterpart Takefuji Corp., according to Nikkei. The other candidates were J Trust Co. , a major Japanese consumer lender, Cerberus Group, US investment fund and TPG Capital, US private-equity firm. J Trust announced that it pulled out of bidding after submitting a 31 billion yen ($365 million) bid. Takefuji filed for bankruptcy protection with 433 billion yen of outstanding debts last September.

April 06, 2011

Firms Face High Hurdles In Coping With Power Shortage

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's energy conservation plan goes so far as to limit summer power usage by large-lot customers 25-30%, a tall order for top manufacturers, according to Nikkei. METI's plan, based on an estimated shortfall of up to 15 million kilowatts, aims to avoid rolling blackouts during the peak summer season.

April 05, 2011

ETIC To Support Hakuyuukai Medical Corp

The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan(ETIC), a government-backed turnaround body, announced that the ETIC has decided to provide support to Hakuyuukai Medical Corporation, an Osaka-based medical operator, by requesting financial institutions not to recover loans or exercise any other rights they may have as creditors. Hakuyuukai is a medical corporation that operates a general hospital, a nursing support service, a nursing home for the elderly and a special healthcare facility for suffers of dementia. Oversupply fo hospital beds in the region has made Hakuyuukai being financially troubled. With support from ETIC, Hakuyuukai implements the revitalization plan.

April 04, 2011

ETIC To Provide Support To ARRK Corp

The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan(ETIC), a government-backed turnaround body, has decided to provide support to ARRK Corporation, a listed manufacturer of prototype products, and its subsidiaries. The ETIC shall provide ARRK funding in the amount of 9 billion yen and make arrangements with Japanese financial institutions. ARRK, once aggressive in M&A, couldn't put into place group-wide management systems capable of keeping pace with rapid M&A-driven expansion. Through the ETIC business revitalization plan, ARRK Group will follow a clear business strategy geared toward reorganizing it into a group of companies that generate synergies.

April 01, 2011

J-Will Partners in Incubator Bank of Japan Auction

J-Will Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in Japan, is reportedly among five or so bidders competing to take over the failed Incubator Bank of Japan. An auction conducted by the Deposit Insurance Corp. of Japan was closed yesterday and the financial reorganization administrator will evaluate the detailed proposals from the bidders, which also included Aeon bank and a Kyoto credit cooperative.