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Sep 26, 2013

Lixil to buy Grohe in $4 billion landmark deal

TOKYO/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s biggest bathroom fittings company Grohe has been snapped up by Japanese building products group Lixil (5938.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a 3.06 billion euro ($4.13 billion) deal, marking the largest ever investment by Japan in Europe’s biggest economy.

Lixil’s leveraged buyout of Grohe from financial investor TPG Capital TPG.UL and the private equity arm of Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shows renewed appetite by Japanese firms for deals outside their home market.

Sep 26, 2013

Lixil reaches basic agreement to buy Grohe for $4 bln

TOKYO, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Lixil Group Corp has
reached a basic agreement to buy Grohe, Europe’s
biggest bathroom installations maker, for about 400 billion yen
($4 billion), marking Japan Inc’s second multibillion dollar
acquisition in Europe this month.

Although a weaker yen has put a damper on the pace of
Japanese acquisitions abroad this year, many companies remain
eager to snap up overseas firms as they confront limited growth
opportunities in their saturated home market.

Sep 25, 2013

Tokyo Electron takeover could be a mold-breaker for Japan

TOKYO, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Applied Materials Inc’s
$10 billion acquisition of Tokyo Electron Ltd is more
than just a milestone foreign takeover in Japan – it’s a rare
forward-looking deal in a country where selling to an overseas
rival is usually a last resort.

U.S.-based Applied Materials, the world’s largest maker of
chipmaking equipment, and third-ranked Tokyo Electron announced
the all-stock deal late on Tuesday. On
completion, it would be the biggest foreign takeover of a
Japanese manufacturer. While board representation is to be split
evenly, Applied Materials shareholders will own 68 percent of
the new company, keeping them firmly in control.

Sep 11, 2013

Japan regulator probing Deutsche Bank entertainment of pension clients: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s securities market watchdog is investigating whether Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) employees provided excessive entertainment to Japanese pension fund executives in breach of regulations, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) found evidence of potential infractions during a regular audit of Deutsche Securities Inc, the German bank’s investment banking arm in Tokyo, said the sources, who spoke on condition they not be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

Sep 9, 2013

Exclusive: Japan regulator probing Deutsche Bank entertainment of pension clients – sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s securities market watchdog is investigating whether Deutsche Bank AG employees provided excessive entertainment to Japanese pension fund executives in breach of regulations, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) found evidence of potential infractions during a regular audit of Deutsche Securities Inc, the German bank’s investment banking arm in Tokyo, said the sources, who spoke on condition they not be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

Aug 21, 2013

Analysis: Corporate tax cut in Japan – Be careful what you wish for

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world and getting companies to use more of their earnings to invest and hire is crucial to the economic renaissance promised by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Yet the idea of slashing the corporate tax, floated by the government earlier this month, has received a lukewarm reception from analysts and policymakers, because of doubts over whether it would unleash enough investment to justify the loss of revenue.

Aug 21, 2013

Corporate tax cut in Japan: Be careful what you wish for

TOKYO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Japan’s corporate tax rate is
among the highest in the world and getting companies to use more
of their earnings to invest and hire is crucial to the economic
renaissance promised by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Yet the idea of slashing the corporate tax, floated by the
government earlier this month, has received a lukewarm reception
from analysts and policymakers, because of doubts over whether
it would unleash enough investment to justify the loss of
revenue.

Aug 18, 2013

Okinawa shows vulnerability of Japan PM’s popular appeal

NAHA, Japan (Reuters) – Masatoshi Onaga says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is out of touch with Okinawa, one of Japan’s poorest prefectures and the reluctant host to half the U.S. forces in the country.

To understand the island’s pain, Onaga would like to see Tokyo-based leaders try living in the shadows of the Futenma air base, a facility targeted for closure since 1996 because of its location in a densely populated area, with warplanes taking off and landing over surrounding houses, hospitals and schools.

Jul 19, 2013

Universal director altered document on Manila payment, panel says

TOKYO/SAN FRANCISCO, July 19 (Reuters) – A director of
Universal Entertainment Corp altered minutes of a
meeting of executives at the Japanese gaming machine maker to
show they had approved a $25 million payment that is under U.S.
investigation as possible bribery, a report commissioned by the
company says.

The report says that around October 2012 Hajime Tokuda
altered minutes of a November 2009 meeting to show a decision to
make the $25 million payment was made by a board of executive
officers.

Jul 9, 2013

As Japan PM Abe weighs labor reform, IBM emerges as test case

TOKYO (Reuters) – When 27-year IBM veteran Martin Jetter came to Tokyo last year, the new president of the technology giant’s Japanese arm had a radical idea: hold workers accountable for performance.

Within months of Jetter’s arrival, IBM Japan fired a group of workers deemed to be underperforming in the kind of restructuring common in many Western countries but rare in Japan, where the most sought-after jobs have carried a promise of lifetime employment.