MAKES CASH BID FOR AOZORA - IHT, 26 March 2003
EXECUTIVE, ACADEMIC TO HEAD
REVIVAL BODY - JAPAN TIMES, 1 March 2003
JAPAN REAL ESTATE, LONG DEPRESSED,
HINTS AT A REVIVAL - WSJ, 3 May 2002
AT ANZCC: EXIT STRATEGIES FOR SMALL BUSINESS IN JAPAN - Tokyo,
Japan, 3 April 2002
ACQUISITION EXPERT SAYS SMALL
FIRMS RIPE FOR THE PICKING - IHT, 9-10 March 2002
GRAVEDANCERS - Forbes Global, 18 February 2002
MARKET VERDICT - ASIA'S REITS-
Forbes Global, 10 December 2001
INTERVIEW WITH CJ WILSON
- ACCJ Journal, October 2001
SPEECH AT EMIRATES INTERNATIONAL
FORUM - Dubai, UAE, 1 March 2000
MORNINGSTAR MAY OFFER SERVICES
IN JAPAN - WSJ, 23 October 1997
ATLUS AIMS STICKER-PHOTO BOOTHS
AT U.S. - Asian WSJ, 1 October 1997
TRADING FIRMS GET MAKEOVER, WINNING
FANS - WSJ, 25 April 1997
UP SHOP - WSJ, 8 November 1996
SPEECH AT EUROMONEY: ADVANCED
STRATEGIES FOR COMPANY VALUATION - London, UK, 11 September 1996
Herald Tribune, 26 March 2003
Cerberus Partners weighs rival offer for 49% stake held by Softbank,
By Brett Cole (Bloomberg News)
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan's second-biggest bank,
has offered ￥101.1 billion ($838 million) in cash for Softbank Corp.'s
49 percent stake in Aozora Bank Ltd., according to bankers involved
in the transaction.
Mitsui offered Softbank ￥73 a share for the stake, the bankers said.
The bid, which can be matched by Cerberus Partners LP, an Aozora
shareholder, values the lender at about $1.7 billion. The purchase,
which requires regulatory approval, would trigger a general offer
for all Aozora shares....
Mitsui wants this deal," said C.J. Wilson, managing director at
investment advisers Global Alliance Ltd. in Tokyo. Aozora shareholders
"will look at the price offered by Sumitomo Mitsui to Softbank and
will want to sell."
Son, the Softbank chief executive, said he accepted the Sumitomo
Mitsui offer, without disclosing the terms. Sumitomo Mitsui said
in January it wanted a controlling stake in Aozora....
Japanese law, companies wishing to buy 33.3 percent or more of a
company outside the market must tender an offer to all shareholders.
If there is a general offer, shareholders in Aozora may sell their
stakes to Sumitomo Mitsui, which may end up holding more than 50.1
percent in the bank....
Partners LP, an $8 billion investment fund that has an 11.5 percent
stake in Aozora, is considering its own bid for Softbank's stake,
William Richter, a Cerberus co-founder, said this month. Other Aozora
shareholders include Tokio Marine Fire Insurance Co., Japan's largest
casualty insurer, Orix Corp., Japan's biggest non-bank financial
company, California-based Silicon Valley Bank and Japanese regional
Times, 1 March 2003
By Tomoko Otake and Mayumi Negishi, Staff writers
The Cabinet decided Friday to
appoint a former Nomura Securities Co. executive and a high-profile
academic to lead a proposed government-backed entity tasked with
restructuring indebted firms and revitalizing industries.
Atsushi Saito, a former vice president
at the nation's biggest brokerage, will assume the presidency of
the industrial revival body when it begins operations around May,
and Shinjiro Takagi, a professor of law at Dokkyo University who
is also known as a leading corporate rehabilitation expert, will
head a panel of experts that will judge whether debt-laden firms
In announcing the appointments,
industrial revival minister Sadakazu Tanigaki stressed that the
two candidates are "blessed with the most appropriate experience
"Saito who?" asked Kenji Ueda,
executive director of U.S. investment fund Ripplewood Japan Inc.
"I'm glad they found somebody, though. I know I wouldn't want to
have his job."....
While Takagi is better known for
his involvement in the rehabilitation of ailing supermarket chain
Daiei Inc., his appointment is expected to raise concerns over his
impartiality in choosing companies to rehabilitate.
"Mr. Takagi's reputation is
revered among executives, so this is a coup," said C.J. Wilson,
managing director of Global Alliance LTD, an investment advisory
firm. "But the filtering of who to help and how could be a quagmire
of favoritism and conflicts."
As president, Saito's biggest
job will be to find sponsors for companies that are put under management
revitalization, Tanigaki said. Sponsors will eventually buy their
Takagi, meanwhile, will oversee
the experts' committee, tasked with determining whether companies
are salvageable and, if so, how much to pay banks for their problem
Wall Street Journal, 3 May 2002
By Jaon Singer
TOKYO - Last year, Curtis Freez, the manager of a Japanese mutual
fund, saw some numbers that shocked him....
...In 2002, Japan legalized real-estate investment trusts - which
the U.S. had done in the early 1960s. REITs are companies listed
on a stock market that invest solely in real estate, giving land
sellers another vehicle for bypassing the sclerotic banks.
Gradually, the changes pushed through by Japan to revive its financial
system made it possible for land owners to find new buyers where
before there hadn't been any, and for buyers to raise money when
banks had been saying no. "Japan's financial-products market
is moving beyond adolescence at last," says C.J. Wilson, managing
director of boutique investment bank Global Alliance.
Foreign investors such as Goldman Sachs began buying in bulk, because
they saw the universe of potential buyers expand - which in turn
raised the potential value of prime properties. What's more, they
saw new uses for idle spaces....
& New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan
Australian Business Centre, 3 April 2002
The subject of exit strategies will be explored in depth in this
open-discussion format. This cussion will be led by C.J. Wilson,
President of Global Alliance, one of Tokyo's best known and
most experienced private equity and M&A advisory firms.
Mr. Wilson will set up the discussion by outlining issues of exit
strategies for three hypothetical business.
*Actual copy texts of speech are available par
request. Please contact Global Alliance to request.
Herald Tribune, 9, 10 March 2002
Biz Beat, By Paul Murphy, Asahi Shimbun News Service
Marketwise, C.J. Wilson is
At a time when foreign investors
are increasingly nervous about Japan, the managing director of mergers
and acquisitions adviser Global Alliance believes that "if you look
beyond the financial crisis and the leadership crisis," the current
period represents " a good opportunity for anyone who wants to come
to Japan or Asia."
The 44-years old American
particularly smells opportunity in roll-ups, a strategy of buying
up and grouping companies under the same brand and management system
to enable economies of scale and other advantages.
"Is the time right now in
Japan to do roll-ups? The answer is, 'You bet''" he said.
Global Alliance, a Tokyo-based
seven-person operation with offices in the United States and Europe,
is advising clients about purchase and roll-up a number of Japanese
Stationary stores, dry cleaners,
gas stations and property management companies, as well as financial
planning and accounting firms, are among those ripe for roll-up.
Typical targets are solid,
mid-size firms with less than 2 billion yen in sales, but which
"are not benefiting from new information technology or management
systems and financial strategies, such as issuing bonds that are
possible for a larger fast-growing firm," according to Wilson.
The overriding economic benefit
is in new management.
"Nissan is not a roll-up but
we all agree that changing the head allowed everyone else the freedom
to change," he said.
Wilson believe Japan is suffering
from "a management crisis, which is proven by the exceptions."
"The skills that got managers
where they are now-go along, get along, spend your time building
empires that are politically protected as long as you keep hiring
people - where built for a different economy 30 years ago," he said.
Wilson acknowledges that the
uniformity which roll-ups bring may erode retail Japan's "mom and
But he argues many would not
"When you have firms such as
(office supplies mail-order vendor) Askul Corp. selling almost exclusively
online and by fax and delivering product the same way, you realize
the world has changed." he said.
Global, 18 February 2002
Japan's economy is getting worse. That's
good news for Western investors buying Japanese companies. By
In January the Carlyle Group paid
$27 million for Asahi Security Systems, sold by the troubled Japanese
retailer Daiei. It was the U.S. investor group's first acquisition
in Japan - but it surely won't be the last.
Carlyle expects to do an additional
15 or so deals in Japan in the next four years. "Buyouts are
a totally new business in Japan," says Kensuke Shizunaga, who
is the co head of Carlyle's buyout team in Tokyo. "The market
here is embryonic."
Just six years ago, fewer than
60 companies a year were bought by or merged with Western concerns.
Last year the figure was 160.
"It's game over for Japan
Inc.," says Brad Smith, who left his job of running Bear Stearns'
Tokyo office 18 months ago to head his own company, Kahala Capital,
which advises on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of Japanese
companies. "I have more work than I can handle."
With economic recovery nowhere
in sight (see page 22), the dismantling of corporate Japan will
get broader and deeper. Consider: The value of M&A in the U.S.
is equivalent to about 8% of its $10 trillion GDP; Japanese M&A
accounts for only about 1% of its $5 trillion GDP, so there is plenty
of room for growth....
....The fraction of shares held
in cross-shareholdings has fallen to 37%, from 52% in 1991, according
to Goldman Sachs. "Japanese banks and
others are unwinding their cross - shareholding of keiretsu groups
at a savage pace," says C.J. Wilson, the head of Global Alliance,
an M&A advisory firm in Tokyo.
Foreigners in the meantime have
raised their ownership to 19% by value of all listed shares, giving
them greater leverage for takeovers. For legal control of a Japanese
company, an acquirer generally needs to have at least a 34% stake
(note that when Renault took over Nissan, it had a 37% stake, and
when DaimlerChrysler got Mitsubishi Motors, it had 34%).
Japanese are generally completely
naked [to takeovers] without cross - shareholdings," says Arthur
Mitchell, a senior partner of Coudert Brothers, a law firm in New
York, who has long focused on Japan. Coudert and Lazard Frères
developed Japan's first poison-pill defense and Mitchell sees a
bright future in helping Japanese companies fashion Western-style
defenses against takeover bids. But, he says, most companies ignore
the growing danger: No companies have planted these poison pills
(there are 2,500 in the U.S.)...
Forbes Global, 10 December 2001
Asia's real estate tycoons are hoping that REITs will flourish
in the region. Investors are skeptical. By Justin Doebele
...Not all REITs are created equal. "The U.S. REIT market
had more than ten years to mature and to experience plenty of
failures in every form before settling down to separate classes
of property with the right investors," says C.J. Wilson,
who manages Global Alliance, a private investment firm in Tokyo.
The same process will likely take place in Asia. Investors need
to ask hard questions about whether the properties underlining
the REITs can deliver promised returns in growth, rents and capital
Chamber of Commerce in Japan, October 2001
In the World Competitiveness Survey from the Institute for Management
Development of Lausanne, America retained the number-one spot, with
Singapore a strong second. Japan, however, managed to slip to 26th
in 2000, from 24th. Even Chile and Estonia were judged more competitive.
Are cumbersome government regulations proving a drag on energizing
new businesses to kick-start an economic recovery?
I don't believe a competitive ranking is going to be easy to construe
as saying that Japan has got to "catch up." I believe
it's already taking steps. Does that mean a foreign company can
come into Japan and help a local firm transition, to upgrade to
become more of a global player? Absolutely. The willingness is there
as never before, and it's not simply about "outsourcing."
It certainly takes longer to understand Japan; therefore, if you
don't understand it yet, it is best to get someone to help you.
Doing business in Japan requires
being very careful, very structured and very determined. We don't
think it's about finding money; we don't think it's about being
first to market — lots of people have been rich and first,
and have failed. What we're very sure about is having the right
The myth is that it takes
a long time to do business in Japan; it doesn't. Is it possible
to be successful? Can I get the people and critical resources I
need, get customers? Can I get them quickly? Yes, to all of those.
Can I get them as quickly as Hong Kong? No, but Japan dwarfs many
Another myth is that it will
be more difficult to enjoy long-term the benefits of having created
new business opportunities, to prevent a competitor or copycat from
moving in. And my answer to that is; that's global; that is just
today. It's not any worse here than anywhere else.
Japanese companies seem unusually cautious about taking a chance
on entrepreneurs, while Japanese [employees] continue to be wary
about leaving the corporate nest.
The markets are changing fast globally and very fast in Japan. As
an entrepreneur, you'd better have a really good idea and be ready
for people to demand that you prove it to them, rather than simply
give you money and trust you to do it. With the bubble bursting
here, obviously recruiters are having a tougher time getting people
out of their old jobs. People are less willing to take a risk and
jump into a start-up now. The current state of the global markets
justifies walking away from that risk and staying where they are
right now if they are uncertain!
If you are a foreign firm
and [have] a good [business] plan, the right resources, and you're
going to let the local entrepreneur help run things — it's
possible to draw people out. But if you're asking somebody with
a steady job to bet their life on yours, that's hard right now.
Yet there are still plenty of individuals out there who are bilingual,
international, informed and risk takers. I think we're starting
to see the age of the truly international Japanese manager. Part
of that can be seen in the foreign-born or trained managers that
come back to Japan.
Do I expect unemployment to
increase in Japan? You bet. Was it good for Korea? You bet. Will
it take longer here than there? Yes. We're not going to hit the
same bottom; Japan won't be as tough-minded in letting large corporations
fail. Being out of work is frightening, yet unemployment often is
the key to energizing the creation of new businesses and ideas.
American high-tech stocks started to slide lower and lower, venture
funding from abroad has gotten very tight. Do you see that situation
changing in the near future?
A lot of foreign VC's have significantly pulled back.
This situation is helping Japan create its own venture market —
which we never really had before. It is creating a completely new
venture-capital industry and, with it, significant skill sets will
in time lead to returns for those venture funds. Those returns will
attract the other players into this market. Leveraged buyout funds
and private equity funds are still here and will continue to have
great opportunity to reposition large companies.
But the foreign equity investor
is going to have to bring something more to the table than just
money. It's all about alliances; as much as we hear the VC or institutional
investor will help you, they're going to have to prove it. With
a mix of cultures, regional and global opportunities and conflicts,
it's extremely important that people be very aligned in their interests.
I don't think we are anywhere near close to predicting who's going
to be successful in each market yet, but the amount of money we
are going to need to reinvent companies is huge. Markets have never
been better for this in Japan.
Are good Japanese companies being created?
The foreign capital firms are not finding the good companies easily,
but we still get enough. Companies being created by foreigners,
by Japanese or a combined team — all three have the same opportunities,
though we've seen the Japanese firms able to take advantage of them
faster and stay off the radar screen longer. Industry by industry,
though, we can see significant advantages for more foreign-influenced
firms — finance, on-line trading and telecoms are obvious
examples. More "mixed" companies are succeeding with a
combination of shareholders and resources, simply because businesses
everywhere are globalizing. JVs [joint ventures] are a hot topic
— is Nissan [and Renault] a success? Oh, yes. Mazda [and Ford]?
Not yet. Given the current environment, it is very easy to have
a conversation with any firm that you would like to align yourself
with, through a minority or majority stake.
the Challenges. Strategic Partnership and Joint-working Coalitions:
Their Complexities & Pitfalls".
New Wave Mergers & Alliances: Strategies
for the 21st Century Enterprising
Dubai, UAE, 28 February–1 March 2000
Speakers attending the event included:
Ambassador Diana L. Dougan, International Communications Studies,
CSIS, Washington; Matthias Kleinert, Daimler Chrysler, Germany;
Dr. Peter Spalti, Winterthur Insurance, Switzerland; Dr. David Faulkner,
Oxford University, UK; Dr. Ibrahim Shihata, World Bank; C.J.
Wilson, Global Alliances, Japan; Dr. Eckart Stor, Seimens, Germany;
Stephen Barret, KPMG Corporate Finance; Prof. Jean-Pierre Jeannet,
W.F. Glavin Center for Global Leadership, US; Pier Carlo Flaotti,
Oracle Corporation, Switzerland; Thomas L. Doorley III, Deloitte
Consulting/Braxton Associates; Jean Calude Delcroix, European Internet
Industry Association, Belgium; Craig Balance, Electronic Commerce,
Canada and Dr. Abdul Hameed Hallab, Special Adviser to H.H. The
Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education, Sharjah.
The summit was inaugurated by
H.H. General Shaikh Moammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince
of Dubai and the UAE Defence Minister in the presence of many prominent
personalities. H.E. Nelson Mandela, Nobel Laureate and Former President
of South Africa; H.E. Ahmed Al Tayer, UAE Minister of Communications,
Forum's Deputy Honorary Chairman; Sulaiman Al Mazroui, Coordinator
General of the Forum delivered the keynote speeches. The occasion
was also graced with a message to the Forum from H.E. Bill Clinton,
President of the United States, which was delivered by the US Ambassador,
H.E. Theodore Khattouf.
*Actual copy texts
of speech are available par request. Please contact Global Alliance
Street Journal, 23 October 1997
By Steve Glain, Staff Reporter
TOKYO - Morningstar Inc., the
Chicago-based mutual-funds rating agency, is close to an agreement
with a Japanese company to offer its services in Tokyo, said people
close to the negotiations.
Such an agreement would create
the first independent mutual-funds rating agency in Japan, where
financial deregulation has attracted the world's top asset-management
Morningstar's chairman, Joe Monsueto,
acknowledged that he is talking to several companies in Japan to
jointly set up a ratings agency, but he wouldn't identify them.
"We're very excited about the changes going on in Japan,"
he said. "When you consider how much money is being held in
low-yielding postal accounts, the prospects for selling better-performing
mutual funds are very good."
Only 2.6% of Japan's household
savings were held in mutual funds last year, while 53%, or about
645 trillion yen ($5.336 trillion), were invested in low-yield bank
deposits. But many Japanese and Western money managers expect a
mutual-fund boom here as Japanese seek better returns.
Terms of the Morningstar agreement
have yet to he worked out, said the people close to the negotiations
but Morningstar is expected to take a large stake in a joint venture.
Other investors in the venture, they said, are expected to include
IFIS Ltd., a small mutual-funds rating agency; Reuters Japan Ltd.,
the local subsidiary of the international news service; a division
of Mitsui Co., the trading giant, and Global Alliance Ltd., an
Asia-based investment bank.
IFIS, launched in January 1996
by two former fund managers, first approached Morningstar in August,
said a source involved in the negotiations.
Over the past several years,
Tokyo has adopted a series of reforms that have made it easier for
foreign investment-trust companies to sell funds listed in Japan
and overseas. In addition to IFIS, Japan has three fund - rating
agencies that are affiliated with securities firms, and one operated
by a subsidiary of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc., a financial newspaper.
Wall Street Journal, 1 October 1997
TOKYO – Picture this: Japanese teenagers are thronging
instant-photo booths to get their pictures printed on stickers,
and the Tokyo franchise behind the fad is focusing next on the U.S.
Naoya Harano, founder of closely
held Atlus Co. of Japan, started placing his Print Club photo booths
in urban gathering spots for youth in 1996. Now the industry is
estimated to be valued at billions of dollars and the booths are
poised to challenge the Tamagotchi - the key - chain "virtual
pet" - as the distraction of choice among Japan's youth.
Now, the first U.S. Print Clubs
are set to be snapping mugs after a debut in Europe. Mr. Harano
is so confident Print Club will win over Americans that he plans
to list Atlus on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct. 7.
Success is far from guaranteed, says C.J. Wilson, managing director
of Global Alliance Ltd., an Asia-based investment bank and venture-capital
company. "Atlus will need to make the Print Clubs accessible,
and that means placing them in 7 - Elevens as well as amusement
parks," he says. "Retailers will need to know what you
are going to put in place of this box when the fad fades, and they'll
worry that a personal computer will do it all next year anyway."
In Japan, at least, Print Club has established itself firmly. Print
Club booths on the urban streets and alleyways of Japan are routinely
crowded with teens, usually girls, lined up to have their pictures
taken. The machines print out tiny photos on adhesive strips that
can be stuck on name cards, diaries or greeting cards. Users can
choose a computer graphic - cartoon characters, star entertainers
or gag backdrops - in the photo frames. For 350 yen ($2.89), a consumer
can have his mug shot taken alongside Mount Fuji, Tweetie Bird or
pop singer Mariah Carey. Japanese teenagers swap the photographs
with friends and keep thick albums filled with the photo stickers.
Atlus, a midsize Japanese company that specializes in video - game
software, controls two - thirds of the photo - booth market in Japan.
Print Club sales provided 70% of the company's 36.5 billion yen
($301.8 million) in revenue last year.
Later this month, it hopes to
announce a tie-up with such companies as Eastman Kodak Co. and International
Business Machines Corp. to help distribute Print Clubs in the U.S.,
according to an IBM official in Tokyo. Mr. Harano has obtained the
rights to feature images of singers Mariah Carey and Celine Dion
in Atlus's U.S. machines, in addition to cartoon characters and
entertainers affiliated with a major U.S. multimedia company, he
says. (Disclosure laws relating to the stock-market listing prevent
him from naming the company, Mr. Harano says. Atlus has rights to
use images of characters and entertainers from Time Warner Inc.
and Walt Disney Co. in its Japanese Print Clubs.)
The first wave of U.S. Print Clubs will land in Los Angeles and
Honolulu, where sample kiosks already have been well-received, Mr.
Harano says. The machines will be placed primarily at convenience
stores and video-game parlors, and at events like stock - car races,
and will target teenagers. The U.S. Print Clubs will feature American
sports heroes, entertainers and cartoon characters, many of whom
are already used in the Japanese machines, although some changes
have been made. "We substituted Mount Fuji with the Statue
of Liberty," Mr. Harano says.
Mr. Harano has a knack for spotting fads. He started Atlus in 1988
with a handful of people who worked with him at a small amusement-game
software company, just when the video - game craze was gaining steam.
He borrowed 20 million yen from friends, and soon the company was
writing software for Sega and Japan's other video-game giant, Nintendo
His obsession with photo booths began two years ago when a staff
worker approached him with a tiny photograph of her and two friends,
which was printed on an adhesive strip, albeit without any graphic
images. "She thought it was a lot of fun," says Mr. Harano.
"So I took a long walk outside the office and noticed schoolgirls
were lining up in front of these things."
Atlus has managed to keep its dominant grip with a superior sales
and service network that has reduced the average response time to
reported breakdowns to about an hour, compared with an average of
several hours to a day, says Jim Miller, chief executive officer
and president of ImageWare Software Inc. (The San Diego - based
ImageWare pioneered the electronic photo booth and has licensed
one of its patents to Atlus.)
"He's been very thoughtful
about this," Mr. Miller says. "He didn't just put out
a thousand machines and figure out how to service them later, which
is a mistake a lot of companies make. I salute him for his discipline."
Street Journal (all editions), 25 April 1997, Page 13
By Steve Glain, Staff Reporter
– Some analysts are urging stock pickers looking for long-term
value in Japan to consider one of the oldest and most venerable
sectors of the economy: the trading houses.... Bankers and analysts
say the trading companies are using their vast networks and contacts
overseas to identify and introduce the new technologies Japan needs
to overhaul its lagging communications and multimedia industries.
"The trading companies have the greatest chance to make
a difference ... by nurturing or capturing new ventures," says
Clifton J. Wilson, the chairman and founder of Global Alliance,
a Tokyo-based venture-capital company. "They know the dangers
of not changing with the times."
...Only a few years ago, the trading
companies were reeling from a series of ill - fated investments
that helped fuel asset inflation in Japan's "bubble" economy.
But analysts say most of Japan's nine major trading houses are writing
down their bad debt and now seem more concerned with profitability
than holding showcase assets like golf courses and movie studios.
Analysts also stress that the new businesses like multimedia and
telecommunications still account for a small portion of the trading
companies' total portfolios, a reflection of the attendant risks....
Street Journal (all editions), 8 November 1996, Page 1
Foreign Entrepreneurs find fertile ground for start-ps in Japan,
By Steve Glain, Staff Reporter
– the Japanese marketplace may look like a jungle from the
outside, but some pioneering foreign entrepreneurs see it as the
For instance, when Yuji Suzuki
desperately needed a capital infusion this year for his company,
a corrugated - box maker named Tri - Wall KK, he turned to Clifton
Wilson, President of Global Alliance Japan Inc. Mr. Wilson founded
the venture - capital firm last year after spending six years with
Merrill Lynch & Co. and a Japanese bank. Mr. Suzuki, president
and majority shareholder of Tri-Wall, had just lost a major shareholder,
which left the company undercapitalized.
Mr. Wilson raised $25 million in three months from some Asian
paper companies that had bought rights to use Tri - Wall's logo
but had dissolved earlier equity links to the company. Renamed New
Tri - Wall KK in February, the company expects sales of about $40
million this year. Mr. Suzuki says he didn't even bother asking
Japanese investment banks for help. "There isn't a Japanese
firm that could have pulled it off," he says.
According to Yasumasa Ishizaka,
managing director of investment-adviser China Capital Holdings Inc.:
"Most Japanese venture capitalists are on salary, so there's
a disincentive to take risks. If you make a decision that goes wrong,
it's trouble. If you make one that goes right, there's no upside."
One of Mr. Wilson's secrets: "We've
gone local." He formed a board from a circle of Japanese businessmen
he knew from previous deals. He found cheap office space by subleasing
from a director, and he found secretaries largely through referrals
from friends and contacts.
EUROMONEY CONFERENCE, "Valuing in
London, UK, 10 & 11 September 1996
*Actual copy texts
of speech are available par request. Please contact Global Alliance