November 21, 2014

Blackstone to Purchase GE Capital’s Japan Residential Business

The below is from Blackstone's press release.

Tokyo, Japan, November 21, 2014 – Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that funds affiliated with Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia will make an investment in connection with an agreement to acquire GE Japan Corporation’s 100% owned residential real estate business for over ¥190 billion. The business owns and operates more than 200 residential properties, consisting of over 10,000 units primarily in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.

“We continue to believe strongly in the residential sector’s fundamentals, especially in Japan’s major cities,” said Alan Miyasaki, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. “We are excited by the opportunity to invest in such a high-quality and well managed business.”

Francois Trausch, Chief Executive Officer – Asia-Pacific at GE Capital Real Estate said, “This transaction supports our global strategy to reduce our equity book as we continue to build our global debt operations. We are pleased that our Japan residential business will transfer to another premier owner/operator with a strong emphasis on tenant satisfaction.”

GPIF Appoints A Coller Capital Partner To Its Newly Introduced CIO Position

According to Government Pension Investment Fund's press release on 20 Nov 2014;

"Mr. Takahiro Mitani, President of Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), will appoint Mr. Hiromichi Mizuno as Executive Managing Director (Chief Investment Officer) on January 5th, 2015.
Upon this new appointment, Mr. Mizuno will resign a member of Investment Advisory Committee at GPIF, as well as a partner of Coller Capital."

As GPIF can appoint only 1 Executive Managing Director besides its President, this appointment puts Mr. Mizuno the second most senior person in the pension fund. This is the first time that GPIF introduces CIO position, which will oversee all asset classes.

November 13, 2014

DRC Acquires Stakes in Chan Luu

DRC Capital, through its DRC II Fund and DRC III Fund, has invested in Chan Luu, a Los Angeles based jewelry and accessories company. According to DRC, Ms. Chan Luu, the designer and the founder, will remain active in the company and will be based in Los Angeles, California.

Chan Luu products are made in Vietnam, where the designer is from, and the US and Japan account for the vast majority of its sales. DRC has formed Chan Luu Japan to optimize and beef up its business in Japan and aggressively expand into the Asian market.

November 07, 2014

GPIF Sets Maximum Allocation To Alternatives At 5%

In its press release on October 31, GPIF announced "Adoption of New Policy Asset Mix".  As shown below, GPIF has substantially increased the allocations to domestic and international stocks.

The announcement coincided with BOJ's further easing and with the Nikkei index surging by 5%, media reports seemed to focus only on the stock allocation increase.

However,  "Adoption of New Policy Asset Mix" did include an important announcement that GPIF for the first time set the allocation for alternative assets with the upper limit of 5%.  It said:

"In order to achieve efficient investments by diversification, policy on alternative investment is stated in the new policy asset mix for the first time."

"Alternative investment will be made within maximum 5% of total portfolio, in accordance with development of dedicated team. Infrastructure, private equities, real estates or other assets determined upon deliberation at the Investment Advisory Committee, are classified as domestic bonds, domestic stocks, international bonds or international stocks, depending on their risk and return profiles."

Please refer to p. 2 and p.13 of  the press release:

October 01, 2014

Marunouchi Sells Sijo Ishii to lawson for JPY 55 Billion

Marunouchi Capital has announced that it will sell all Seijo Ishii shares to Lawson. The deal will be executed on October 31st. Media reported the sale price was about JPY 55 billion including debts.

According to Nikkei, "Seijo Ishii owns about 110 stores in and around the three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Touting a unique merchandise selection of imported products, high-end prepared meals and other items, the company boasts the leading earnings growth in recent years among supermarket operators. It logged both revenue and profit growth for five consecutive years through 2013. This year, it is on track to ring up a 10% sales gain to 60 billion yen, with operating profit jumping 36% to around 4.5 billion yen."

Lawson is the second largest convenience store operator in Japan after Seven Eleven. The sale process of Seijo Ishii began last May and other suitors included retail giants Aeon and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings.

Marunouchi Capital bought Seijo Ishii in February 2011 from Rex Holdings, which was then owned by an Advantage Partners' fund, for a reported sum of JPY 40 billion.

August 13, 2014

GPIF Considers 5% Allocation to Private Assets

Jiji Press yesterday reported "The Government Pension Investment Fund plans to create a new portfolio category for investments in assets such as infrastructure, real estate and private equity, sources said." and"GPIF is in the final stages of deciding the new quota’s size but plans it to be the portfolio’s smallest, possibly representing around 5 percent of total assets, the sources said."

It also reported "The short-term assets category currently accounts for 5 percent of total assets and is a category that GPIF is considering excluding from its new portfolio." 

As it appears that the new alliterative allocation simply replaces the cash allocation, it will not affect allocations to other assets such as bonds and equities.

July 03, 2014

Polaris Listed Voyage On Tokyo Stock Exchange / Sold Down Ekitan Since Feb 2014

Polaris Capital has listed Voyage Group Inc., which operates online price comparison and other membership sites and provides advertising services, on Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers market on July 2nd.

In June 2012, Polaris Private Equity Fund II acquired a majority stake, reportedly 62%, in Voyage supporting the management buyout from the then parent Cyber Agent.

According to Polaris press release:
"VOYAGE GROUP, through implementation of its mid-term business plan (the first 100 day plan) formulated in collaboration with Polaris, strengthened the earning power of the membership and media business, and secured the position of industry leader in the rapidly growing market of advertising technology. Consequently, the sales for the current FY ending Sep 2014 is expected to reach JPY 14 billion (company forecast), more than 70% increase in 2 years since the MBO. The operating profit for FY ending Sep 2014 is expected to be JPY 1.5 billion (company forecast) showing an exponential increase from JPY 2 million in FY ending Sep 2012."

Prior to the listing, Polaris sold 25.32% of total outstanding shares of Voyage at JPY 2, 208 for the total sum of approx. JPY 6.2 billion to underwriters. As of July 2nd, Polaris continue to own 25.65% of Voyage.

The stock price jumped at the listing and the first trading price (JPY 3,360) exceeded the listing price (JPY 2,400) by 40%.

Polaris has also sold 19.3% of Ekitan through 3 transactions since Feb 2014 for about JPY 682 million. Current holding is only 4.23%.

July 02, 2014

Carlyle to Acquire SBI Mortgage For About JPY 43 Billion

Just 10 days after the announcement of the acquisition of Sansho Pharmaceutical, Carlyle has announced the commencement of tender offer for share certificates etc., of SBI Mortgage Co. Ltd. Carlyle aims to acquire 100% of the Japan-based mortgage bank, which is engaged in the origination, servicing and securitization of mortgage loans. The total equity purchase value will be approx. JPY 42.7 billion. Alongside with Caryle, SBI Mortgage's current parent SBI Holding will invest JPY 2 billion and Tokio Marine Mezzanine Partners I, which announced its first closing with JPY 25 billion on May 29, will provide JPY 5 billion in the form of preferred shares to the acquiring platform company.  

As SBI Mortgage has issued Korean Depository Receipts (KDR), which are listed on KOSPI, the tender offer is conducted simultaneously in Japan and in Korea from July 1st to August 12th. 

The tender offer price was set at KRW 18,000 / KDR, which represents 42.6% premium over the last 6 month average KDR price or 34.1% over the last 3 month average. Japanese investors, including SBI Holding (51.26%), several SBI-related or managed investment funds and senior management of SBI Mortgage, will convert the KDRs into common shares and subscribe to the tender offer. They aggregately own approx. 71% of the company or approx. JPY 30.3 billion worth of KDRs. Carlyle aims to acquire the reminder of the KDRs through the tender offer in Korea. 

For the FY ending March 2015, SBI Mortgage forecasts JPY 14 billion in operating profit and JPY 2.5 billion in after-tax profit. 

The mortgage company has been rapidly increasing loan assets, increasing from JPY 900 billion in March 2011 to JPY 2 trillion in May 2013, most of which are sold to public and private banks through securitization. With the changing economic environments, the company is now seeing a need for revising its business model that is dependent on long-term fixed rate mortgages.

June 20, 2014

Carlyle Acquires Sunsho Pharmaceutical

Carlyle Japan has announced that it has agreed to acquire 100% stake in Sunsho Pharmaceutical, a company specializing in contract manufacturing of capsules for health & nutrition and pharmaceutical use.

Sunsho Pharmaceutical is 2nd largest health & nutrition contract manufacturers in Japan with USD 165 mm revenue in 2013. Sunsho offers contract manufacturing and packaging services of soft capsules, seamless capsules and other dosage forms for health & nutrition and pharmaceutical use.

The transaction is expected to close in August 2014. Following the transaction, the founder CEO of Sunsho will retire.

Sunsho is Carlyle Japan's 2nd investment in capsule manufactures. In October 2005, Carlyle acquired 100% stake in Qualicaps Group from Shionogi & Co., and exited the investment through a sale to Mitsubishi Chemical in March 2013.

May 29, 2014

Carlyle Investes In A Japanese Snack Maker, Oyatsu

Carlyle Japan has announced that it has acquired a stake in Oyatsu Co., the 65-year-old Japanese maker of crispy snacks, from Carlyle Japan Partners III fund.

According to Bloomberg "Carlyle may pay at least 25 billion yen ($246 million) for Oyatsu,  whereas Nikkei reported "Carlyle is expected to pay around 20 billion yen ($194 million) to acquire over 51% of voting rights in Oyatsu Company".

Oyatsu is best known for its Baby Star snack, which is made from the byproducts of manufacturing noodles. The company posted sales of JPY 18.2 billion in the year through July 31. Oyatsu has 370 employees and exports the snack to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore and Mexico. According its press release, Oyastu aims to develop its overseas business capitalizing on Carlyle's global network.  

Bloomberg also reported that Carlyle and Unison "plan to sell semiconductor-parts maker Covalent Materials Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month. The two firms are preparing an auction for the proposed sale of Tokyo-based Covalent and are seeking to sell it for about 50 billion yen."

April 24, 2014

Baring Sells Precious Metal and Jewelry Recycler Net Japan To Orix

Baring has sold its holdings in Net Japan Co., Ltd. to Orix Corporation. Nets Japan "purchases and sells via intermediaries gold, silver, platinum, palladium, diamonds, and fine jewelry owned by individuals and sells these to refining companies, trading companies and others".  Baring acquired its stake in Net Japan in April 2012.

Hong Kong, Tokyo April 22, 2014 – Baring Private Equity Asia (“Baring Asia”) announced today that Net Japan Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong company owned by a fund advised by Baring Asia, has sold its holding in Net Japan Co., Ltd. and shares in its group companies (“Net Japan”) to Orix Corporation, the Japanese financial services group.

Established in 1995 by Mr. Toshiyuki Yoshizawa, Net Japan is a major precious metal, jewelry and diamond recycler. The company purchases and sells via intermediaries gold, silver, platinum, palladium, diamonds, and fine jewelry owned by individuals and sells these to refining companies, trading companies and others. Net Japan is headquartered in Ueno, Tokyo and trades nationwide through its network of 11 branches in Japan including Tokyo, Sapporo, Sendai, Kofu, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Yokohama, and Matsuyama. Additionally, through auctions that it manages in Hong Kong, Net Japan has established overseas sales routes into China, India and other markets. It is the leading company in Japan in its field with a dominant market share.

Tadashi Maruoka, Managing Director of Baring Asia in Tokyo, said, “Net Japan is a perfect example of Baring Asia’s ability to work with entrepreneurs and management teams to assist them in growing the business, particularly outside of the domestic market. Net Japan was already an excellent business but we were able to add the financial and operational skills and other capabilities to make the business an attractive acquisition target for a suitable buyer. Net Japan will now become part of the Orix Group, a leading Japanese financial group”

Net Japan Holdings Limited first acquired its stake in Net Japan Inc. in April 2012, and embarked upon a three-pronged strategy to substantially grow the business, significantly increase profits and provide exit options for its founder. The strategy involved:

(i) preparing the business for growth: Implemented a management control infrastructure to institutionalize the business, including new compliance, financial reporting, and KPI systems

(ii) achieving growth through acquisition: Net Japan Inc. acquired its number two rival, Olympic Gold, creating an enlarged group with 60% market share, and reinforcing the management team;

(iii) driving international expansion: Net Japan Inc. acquires and aggregates jewelry, diamonds and precious metals in Japan but Net Japan Holdings Limited and its affiliates have now also built distribution businesses across Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore.

April 23, 2014

J-Star Acquires 70% Of Plastic Parts Maker Kugami

J-Star announced a 70% acquisition of Kugami Co., Ltd. , a maker of plastic parts for car interiors and mobile phones. Kugami has manufacturing subsidiaries in China (Suzhou, Dalian and Tianjin) and will seek to enter Southeast Asian and Latin American markets.

April 21, 2014

J-STAR Co., Ltd. Gregory Hara President & Representative Director

Announcement of Share Acquisition of Kugami Co., Ltd.

This is to announce that our wholly managed and operated investment fund, J-STAR No. 2 Investment Limited Partnership, has established Kugami Seiki Kogyo Holdings ("KGH"). Furthermore, KGH acquired approximately 70% of the outstanding shares of Kugami Co., Ltd (headquarter: Yokohama, Kanagawa, company representative: Mr. Yasutaro Shimizu,, "KGM") in March 2014.

KGM was founded in 1965 by the current president, Mr. Yasutaro Shimizu, as a plastic injection molder. Since its foundation, the company has engaged in plastic parts manufacturing for automobiles and electronic products. In 1993, the company opened its first trading center in Hong Kong and a facility in China (Zhuhai), making a full-scale entry into the car interior market including escutcheon panel manufacturing. Since then the company has continually scaled up its China operations, establishing branches in Suzhou in 2001, Dalian in 2003, and Tianjin in 2007. 
In Japan, the company mass-produces plastic parts in Nigata Factory and provides technical support to the Chinese facilities. Furthermore, the company acquired a factory in Yokohama from Kouritsukasei Co., Ltd, who produces plastic parts for mobile phones.

Going forward, while KGM is committed to continue strengthening its production capabilities in China, the company also plans to extend its production capabilities to South East Asia as well as Latin America. The company will reinforce the formation of the management team by adding new talents and consolidated group structure, while actively seeking for M&A & capital alliance opportunities overseas. By investing into KGM through KGH, J-STAR will support the growth strategy and the company structure to achieve the growth.

Mr. Shimizu, the founding owner, will remain as a president and continue to play a significant role in the management team. J-STAR is fully committed to support Mr.
Shimizu’s business growth strategy to become a leading player in the automobile parts manufacturing area.

In approaching this investment, we enlisted Fair Consulting Group for financial and tax-related due diligence, KMC Co., Ltd. for production technology valuation, and Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) for legal due diligence. We financed a part of the acquisition capital from Tokyo Star Bank, Ltd. and Development Bank of Japan Inc.
We received financial advice from Crosspoint Advisors, Inc upon the acquisition.

March 03, 2014

GPIF Starts Infrastructure Investment Through A Co-investment Agreement with OMERS and DBJ

Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) announced on February 28 that it "entered into a co‐investment agreement with Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) and Canada's Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) in order to jointly invest in infrastructure assets".

In the announcement, GPIF said "Such investments will be made throughout approximately 5‐year investment period the aggregate investment outstanding may reach up to 2.7 billion US dollar (280 billion Japanese yen) which accounts for 0.2% of the asset under management (129 trillion Japanese yen as of the end of December, 2013)".

GPIF also said "Infrastructures are classified as “international fixed incomes” in the policy asset mix and managed as a part of GPIF’s in‐house investment."

GPIF's official announcement can be found at:

It appears the investment from DBJ will be USD 100 million over the same period according to the DBJ press release.


According to a Nikkei report,  "The GPIF will earmark only 0.2% of its 130 trillion yen ($1.26 trillion) in assets under management for infrastructure investment, but suggested that the figure may increase. The fund will consider other partnerships as well as other investment areas, such as private equity and real estate, according to a senior official."

February 07, 2014

Japan Buyout Annual Review 2013

We have produced a report that reviews Japan's buyout market in 2013. 

The report covers:

Section I.   Buyout Market Overview
Section II.   New Deals in 2013
Section III.   Exits in 2013

If you are interested, please send us an email as below:


SUBJECT : Request for Japan BO Annual Review 2013 

With the below information; 

           Your name : Mr/Ms/Dr

           Your company name: 
          Country / City:

            Your company URL: 

Thank you. 

Joji Takeuchi
Brightrust PE Japan Co., Ltd.

日本バイアウト市場 2013年レポート

ブライトラスト PEジャパン株式会社では、2013年の日本バイアウト市場を概観するレポートを作成しました。ご希望の方は以下のメールをお送りください。

件名:2013年レポート 送付要請
       (英語) :
                       URL :


JIP And Sony Sign MOU On The PC Deal

Yesterday, Japan Industrial Partners and Sony announced that they concluded a memorandum of understanding regarding JIP's acquisition of Sony' PC business. Subject to the result of JIP's due diligence, they aim to reach a formal agreement by the end of March and execute the deal on July 1st.

For details, go to:

February 05, 2014

JIP Reportedly In Talks To Buy Sony's PC Business, Only A Week After It Bought NEC BIGLOBE

Today it was reported that Sony is in talks to sell personal computer operations to Japan Industrial Partners. The transaction value is said to be JPY 40 to 50 billion. The sale may be announced as early as tomorrow Feb 6th, as Sony is scheduled to report its earning results tomorrow.

Just a week ago, Japan Industrial Partners announced the acquisition of NEC Biglobe from its 4th fund.

The below is NEC's press release on the sale of NEC BIGLOBE to Japan Industrial Partners.

January 30, 2014
NEC Corporation
Japan Industrial Partners, Inc.

Tokyo, January 30, 2014 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE 6701) and Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. (Japan Industrial Partners) today announced an agreement to transfer all of NEC's shares in NEC BIGLOBE, Ltd. (NEC BIGLOBE), an NEC subsidiary, to a special purpose company owned by Japan Industrial Partners Ⅳ Investment Limited Partnership and others in order to achieve further business expansion for NEC BIGLOBE.

Under the agreement, the transfer of all of NEC's shares in NEC BIGLOBE will be completed by the end of March 2014, and business operations will be carried out under a new organizational structure beginning in April.

In 1996, NEC initiated BIGLOBE as an internet service provider (ISP), then established NEC BIGLOBE in 2006 as a separate spin-off business. Since then, NEC BIGLOBE has expanded its business with the growth of the Internet and has contributed to providing stable earnings for NEC.

This agreement will enable NEC BIGLOBE to receive financial and management support from Japan Industrial Partners in order for it to realize further business growth.

NEC's enterprise system integration and service business will continue to collaborate with NEC BIGLOBE's knowhow and services in support of current and future customers.

Japan Industrial Partners has invested in a wide range of business divisions and subsidiaries of major corporations and has extensive experience in strategic initiatives that maximize business value. The combination of NEC BIGLOBE's competitiveness in the ISP business and its knowhow of Internet service platform operations with Japan Industrial Partners' management support knowhow is expected to result in further growth for NEC BIGLOBE.

Making the most of its more than three million broadband and mobile subscribers, its highly reliable Internet service platforms, and its knowhow in operating them, NEC BIGLOBE aims to activily expand its business while creating new value added services through the combination of broadband and mobile communications.

The below are Today's Nikkei article on the possible sale of SONY's PC unit.

TOKYO -- Sony is in talks to unload its sluggish personal computer operations to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, part of a business overhaul designed to shift focus to smartphones, The Nikkei learned Tuesday.
     Under the plan, the fund will establish a new company to which Sony will sell its entire PC business. The sale price is estimated at 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($391 million to $489 million).

     The new entity would continue to sell PCs under the Vaio brand and also handle after-sales service. To facilitate the transfer, Sony will take only a small stake in the firm, which will try to solidify its business base at home. While the company may maintain operations in overseas markets where the Vaio brand is well-known, it will withdraw from most countries and regions.

     Sony's PC business has a staff of roughly 1,000. Many of them, including executives, will be taken on by the new firm, but some others will be transferred to other departments within Sony. The parties are discussing having Sony's PC site in Nagano Prefecture continue handling R&D and production under the new company.

     The sale of the PC business will result in disposal losses, pushing Sony into a net loss for the first time in two years for the year ending March 31 -- a reversal from the projected 30 billion yen in profit. With TV and digital camera operations languishing, its electronics business is performing below expectations.

     The Japanese consumer electronics titan made a full entry into information technology equipment by launching the Vaio brand of PCs back in 1996. Its annual PC shipments peaked at 8.7 million units but are now projected to fall to 5.8 million units this fiscal year. Sony was the ninth-ranked PC maker in the world with a 1.9% share of all PCs shipped during the January-September period of 2013, according to U.S. research firm IDC. Although Sony does not disclose earnings for the PC business, the segment is believed to be bleeding red ink.

January 21, 2014

Japan Industrial Partners May Buy Biglobe For JPY 70 Billion

The Nikkei reported that "NEC is in late-stage talks to sell Biglobe, Japan's fourth-largest Internet service provider by customers, to an investment fund for around 70 billion yen ($666 million)" and "Japan Industrial Partners, the prospective buyer, appears to be seeking tie-ups between Biglobe and Sony- and Fujitsu-affiliated players, among others."

Internet subscribership in Japan is growing, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones. But providers that belong to telecom groups, such as NTT, are taking the lion's share of new customers. Others, such as Sony unit So-net and Fujitsu's Nifty, are struggling.

Biglobe has some 3 million Internet subscribers with sales at JPY 84.1 billion in fiscal 2012.

NEC has held two rounds of bidding for the unit since last October. The parties proceeded to the final round in December were reportedly Itochu Corp, local buyout fund Japan Rising Equity and Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

No press release was so far issued by NEC nor JIP.

January 20, 2014

Tokio Marine Capital Invests Approx. JPY 1 Billion In Asplund

Tokio Marine Capital announced that TMCAP 2011 fund has invested in Asplund Co.

According to Tokio, "Asplund is operating OEM for furniture and interior merchandising and sales of imported furniture to commercial spaces such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, and public spaces, as well as its own lifestyle retail stores “TIMELESS COMFORT” and “212 KITCHEN STORE”. 

Nikkei reported that Tokio acquired a majority stake of Asplund for slightly over  JPY 1 billion.  The revenue for the FY ending October 2013 was JPY 11.2 billion.

Tokio Marine Capital's press release: