Junko's Feed
May 14, 2013

Woodbrook buys Tokyo office property as market rebounds-sources

TOKYO, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S.-based Westbrook Partners led
the acquisition of a majority stake in a Tokyo office tower for
about 30 billion yen ($295 million) as the market rebounds in
the capital of the world’s third-largest economy, according to
people with direct knowledge of the deal.

The price is half what a fund managed by Morgan Stanley
paid for 66 percent of the building at the peak of the
market seven years ago.

May 13, 2013

Michelin for the masses: Japan’s standing restaurants head for New York

TOKYO, May 13 (Reuters) – Japan’s popular standing
restaurants, where patrons eat food by former Michelin
restaurant chefs for a fraction of the cost at a
seated-restaurant, are about to hit New York.

Michio Yasuda, an executive director at ORENO Corporation,
which owns and runs 18 restaurants in Tokyo, hopes New Yorkers
who are happy to drink while standing at bars will also be happy
to eat while standing.

Apr 25, 2013

Japan’s state-backed funds take risks, but what are the rewards?

TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) – As part of Japan’s economic
revival plan, the new government has added $3.2 billion to the
spending power of state-linked funds investing in Japanese
companies, effectively acting as venture capitalists much to the
chagrin of private equity firms.

Critics argue the government largesse – the state funds
spending power has now gone up to some $34 billion – will crowd
out private equity in a country that desperately needs
risk-taking investors to revitalise a corporate sector
struggling to maintain its global competitive edge.

Mar 26, 2013

KKR sells Japan staff agency for $721 mln

TOKYO/HONG KONG March 26 (Reuters) – KKR & Co agreed
to sell Intelligence Holdings to Temp Holdings for 68
billion yen ($721 million), almost double what the U.S. buyouts
firm initially paid for the temporary staffing agency three
years ago.

Intelligence Holdings now has equity value of 51 billion
yen, up from 32.5 billion yen at the time of KKR’s purchase, the
U.S. buyout firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mar 26, 2013

Seibu opposes Cerberus’s attempt to boost its stake

TOKYO, March 26 (Reuters) – Japanese railway and real estate
group Seibu Holdings said it opposes Cerberus Capital Management
LP’s attempt to increase its stake in the company,
setting up a battle with its largest shareholder.

Seibu on Tuesday asked its shareholders not to sell their
shares to Cerberus.

Cerberus is trying to boost its stake in Seibu by four
percentage points to 36.44 percent, the level at which it could
veto major board decisions, through a tender offer.

Mar 8, 2013

KKR, Carlyle, others seek limit of Japan government funds

TOKYO, March 8 (Reuters) – KKR & Co. LP, Carlyle
Group LP, Bain Capital and other private equity firms
urged Japan’s government on Friday to shrink the role of
state-backed funds, saying they could squeeze out opportunities
for private capital and delay restructuring for troubled
companies.

Japan’s two largest state-backed funds have the capacity to
raise up to $37 billion to inject money into Japanese companies.

Feb 28, 2013

Can’t sell the TV?…sell the office: Japan Inc fires up property market

TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) – Japanese blue-chip firms, from
electronics giants to brewers, are selling prime real estate to
shore up battered balance sheets, stoking a resurgent property
market. Some are moving into new offices to take advantage of
relatively low rents.

Big downtown office buildings are coming up for sale as
Tokyo’s property market regains growth momentum for the first
time in almost five years, with plenty of interest among buyers,
particularly Japan’s public real estate trusts, experts said.

Feb 28, 2013

Sony sells Tokyo building for $1.2 billion, year’s second office sale

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp has sold one of its most prized Tokyo office buildings to Japanese real estate trust Nippon Building Fund Inc and one other investor for 111 billion yen ($1.2 billion), its second high-profile building sale this year.

The 25-storey Sony City Osaki building, completed in March 2011, houses 5,000 of its workers on a site once known as the “holy land” for Japan’s television manufacturing industry, where Sony’s Trinitron TV was launched in 1968.

Jan 10, 2013

Sony puts Tokyo building up for sale in $1.1 bln deal-sources

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Sony Corp has put one of
its main buildings in central Tokyo up for sale in a deal that
could raise up to 100 billion yen ($1.14 billion) as the company
seeks to sell non-core assets to boost its balance sheet, five
people with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Sony is trying to sell the 25-storey Sony City Osaki
building, in what would likely be the biggest office property
deal in more than three years in Japan’s property market, which
has been in the doldrums in the wake of the global financial
crisis.

Nov 25, 2012

Voters in tsunami-hit zone feel let down as Japan election nears

IWAKI/KAMAISHI, Japan (Reuters) – Three weeks before Japan’s first national election since the March 2011 earthquake, none of the contenders has managed to win the hearts, and votes, of those hardest-hit by the disaster – with many feeling let down by the entire political class.

Volunteers and donations had poured in after the magnitude 9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan’s main island Honshu unleashed a deadly tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 and triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant.