TT-549 -- M&A Comes Roaring Back, ebiz news from Japan

* * * * * * * * * T E R R I E 'S T A K E * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

General Edition Sunday, January 17, 2009 Issue No. 549


- What's new
- News
- Candidate roundup/Vacancies
- Upcoming events
- Corrections/Feedback
- News credits

SUBSCRIBE to, UNSUBSCRIBE from Terrie's Take at:


--------------- PBXL LOVES ENTREPRENEURS ------------------


Instead, PBXL will give you the THREE MONTHS OF SERVICE FOR
FREE to businesses incorporated less than one year ago, or
founded/operated by individuals who have attended Terrie's
Entrepreneurs' Handbook seminar.
At PBXL, we understand how tough it is to get a business up
and going, and we want to make sure that new businesses
start off right. PBXL provides Cisco based scalable, high
quality telephony and communications solutions.

For more information, please fill out our contact form at or call us at 03-4550-2557.

--------- PBXL is Hosted Business Communications ----------


According to M&A Consulting firm Recof Corporation, the
pace of M&A in Japan or involving Japanese companies
abroad fell to its lowest level in 6 years in 2009. Recof
says that there were just 1,954 deals last year, down
almost 20% over 2008, and that the value of those deals was
JPY7trn, down 43% from the year before. Common wisdom says
that the drop was induced by CEOs waiting in 2009 to see
how things would shake out after the Lehman Shock, and
perhaps also because financing became more difficult to
come by.

But the pause seems to be over, and Recof is saying that
while the overall year was down, in fact in December 2009
there was an uptick in the number of deals -- which may
indicate that we may be in for a strong year of M&A
activity. This last week certainly seems to presage that.

First out the gate in 2010 in terms of international M&A
and/or major investments was a Dentsu announcement that it
would buy 40% of leading Chinese Ad firm Suntrend
Advertising. Dentsu will apparently pay out about JPY5bn to
buy a stake from existing shareholders. Suntrend is a big
operator, with about 30,000 employees in 500 cities --
considerably more than Dentsu's 15,000 or so. It does a
broad range of marketing activities and in particular
in-store promotions. This acquisition sounds like a great
fit for Dentsu, since Suntrend is working with about 30
multinational brands, such as Nike and PepsiCo.

[Continued below...]

------------- Fix Your Out of Date Website ----------------

The J@pan Inc Marketing department offers web development,
design, marketing, and translation services to help
companies enhance their performance internationally.

Our services include:
- Professional translation and localization
- Catchy copy writing
- Modern, stylish print and web design work
- Effective PR and online marketing solutions
- Targeted direct marketing (email, communities, DM, etc.)

Backed by solid marketing and design experts, our staff can
provide a total creative solution, including brand
enhancing websites, brochures, annual reports, and

Contact: for more details.

[...Article continues]

Then on Friday, cosmetics firm Shiseido dropped the
bombshell that it would buy out major US cosmetics firm
Bare Escentuals, for US$1.7bn. This is the largest
acquisition in Shiseido's history, and will pole vault the
firm from an also-ran in the US market to the world's
fourth-largest cosmetics firm by sales, right in behind
L'Oreal, P&G, and Unilever.

This is an incredibly gutsy move for Shiseido, and comes
hard on the heels of the firm's announcement late last year
that it would set up a Swiss company to compete head on
with L-Oreal for the swiss market. Shiseido has said
earlier that it wants its foreign sales to surpass 50% by
2017 and with this deal it appears to be on track to do so.

Shiseido is mirroring a trend by other well-run Japanese
retailers expressing global leadership as a fitting
ambition for their firms. Some years ago, supermarket chain
operator Aeon stated it wanted to take on WalMart -- a goal
that took on renewed importance after Walmart bought into
Seiyu. Another company, Fast Retailing (Uniqlo) certainly
has GAP in its sights. Then of course there is Seven & i
(previously Ito Yokado), which already owns more than
35,000 stores in 100 countries and is growing at breakneck
speed in China.

As seems to be de rigueur for recent Japanese takeovers,
Shiseido paid a significant premium of 43% over the closing
price for Bare Escentuals stock. Shiseido said it will
finance the deal through its own war chest and a
bridge-loan from its banks.

It's fairly clear now that Shiseido, Dentsu, Canon, Suntory, and
the various insurance and pharmaceuticals firms who did major
M&As in 2008 and 2009 are all coming to the same conclusion
about their home market: Japan is headed downwards. Rather
rather than try to fight over the scraps, they have decided
to grow internationally. What's interesting, though, is
that the favored strategy of steady organic growth of
yesteryear is being thrown to the winds in favor of major
value-based acquisitions of best-of-breed foreign companies
with good cash flow.

All these companies appear to have arrived at the
conclusion that going big is the only way to execute an M&A
strategy properly. Why? Most likely for the following
reasons: i) the international market is somewhat still in a
state of shock after the events of 2008, and if there is
going to be a recovery, then the window of opportunity is
now. ii) If the economy does enter another down leg, M&A
funds will be harder to come by -- so again, timing is
important. iii) There is poor availability of
internationalized management talent in Japan, and so the
acquisitions need to be healthy, going concerns, with
dependable, stand-alone local management.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to buying a large going
concern, which both Dentsu and Shiseido will need to take
care to avoid -- the inability of the Japanese buyers to
oversight their international holdings properly. This is a
problem that seems to afflict many Japanese firms and one
needs look no further than the already well-established
foreign networks of the nation's IT/electronics firms to see
the problems. So newcomers are likely to feel the lack of
suitable manpower even more keenly. If you are an
enterprising headhunter, this should be good news...

If we need evidence that failure to provide oversight is a
problem, then look at successful local retailer Aeon, which
decided to jettison its major foreign acquisition, Talbots,
just last month. From what we can see, Aeon left the
Talbots senior people to their own devices, and allowed
them to make an ill-timed acquisition of another firm.
This deal wound up losing Talbots about JPY52bn in 2008 and
in turn hurt Aeon's consolidated earnings for that period
as well.

Possibly the one sector which is benefiting significantly
from the emerging M&A boom, but which isn't taking
significant risks, is that of lawyers. According to a
recent press release from, 10 out of the
15 top law frims for Japanese mid-market (US$10m-US$250m)
M&A sector in Japan in calendar year 2009 were foreign
firms. Between them they pulled in 59 deals out of a listed
total of 169, for an overall deal value of US$647bn. Top of
the heap was Morrison & Foerster (MOFO). We don't have the
numbers for bigger deals, but if it was an international deal,
you can be sure that one of the leading foreign law firms
was involved.

From scuttlebutt in the street, we believe that the likelihood
of a global M&A uptrend by Japanese firms is now quite
strong. This represents a significant business
opportunity for foreign firms other than just lawyers --
providing those foreign firms are able to pick the winners
that they should invest their time in. We'd be betting on
firms such as Canon, Asahi, Suntory, and of course Fast
Retailing. The good news is that whereas many of these
targets may have been closed to approaches by foreign
businesspeople in previous years, now the size and risks at
stake mean that they have to get serious. They appear to
be more receptive than ever to promises of international
competence, global networks, and of course bilingual,
bicultural help.

...The information janitors/


----------- Discount Business Books in English ------------

CCH's has a solution for you and your company about
business compliance, tax, and HR issues!!

1. Japan Corporation Law Guide 1st Edition
Provides a comprehensive analysis on Japan's Corporate Law.
The guide is a must for those seeking to set up operations
in Japan, continuing to do business in Japan, or entering
into business arrangements with Japanese entities.

2. Japan Master Tax Guide 2009/10
Provides an informative framework of Japanese taxes in
English and includes insightful commentary on Japanese
statutes, regulations, and National Tax Agency circulars.

3. Japan Employers' Hand Book
Provides comprehensive commentary and local customs and
advice about the labor and employment laws of Japan, along
with a clear explanation on how these laws work in

Special discount for Terrie's Take readers.
For more details, Contact us at:,
or call 03-3265-1161

+++ NEWS

- New law to allow foreign company lawsuits
- Tesla sports car auction
- Prudential to stop selling life insurance
- Kyocera founder to head up restructured Japan Airlines
- Citigroup Japan CEO going home

-> New law to allow foreign company lawsuits

A new law being considered by the Legislative Council, a
government consulting think tank, will allow consumers to
pursue lawsuits against foreign companies if the company
was registered in some shape or form in Japan when the
alleged wrongdoing occurred. The new law would also allow
lawsuits for labor and other business disputes as well.
***Ed: Not sure how this law will really improve the
current situation, in that it is incredibly easy for a
foreign firm to do business in Japan without being
registered here at all. Seems to us that this law may
well encourage more offshore selling through proxies.
We'll keep readers informed on this one.** (Source: TT
commentary from, Jan 16, 2010)

-> Tesla sports car auction

In what has to be a hugely popular PR exercise, some
inspired marketing manager at used car dealer Gulliver came
up with the idea of auctioning off a Tesla Motors electric
sports car in February. The auction will take place on
Yahoo Japan and bids will start at JPY1m. The auction will
run for a week. ***Ed: This is just a stunning idea, and
one that is likely to capture consumers' imaginations for
the whole of that week. Wonder how Gulliver managed to
actually secure a car? We thought they were sold out at
least until the end of the year.** (Source: TT commentary
from, Jan 16, 2010)

-> Prudential to stop selling life insurance

The UK's largest insurance company, Prudential, has said
that it will wind up its PCA Life Co., insurance sales in
Japan from February, due to falling sales in annuities
coupled with increased competition from domestic Japanese
firms. Prudential's move mirrors that of Hartford last
year, when Hartford admitted that its once profitable
annuities business was going to lose it big money in coming
years. PCA Life will continue servicing existing customers
and its asset management business. (Source: TT commentary
from, Jan 15, 2010)

-> Kyocera founder to head up restructured Japan Airlines

Whether it's a good idea or not we're not sure, but
nonetheless the government has decided in its wisdom to
appoint the founder of Kyocera and now iconic businessman,
Kazuo Inamori, as the new CEO of Japan Airlines. Inamori is
a colorful character who amongst other things is an
ordained Buddhist priest. Inamori admits that he knows
nothing about airlines, and plans to work just 3-4 days a
week... so clearly he's going to have to be doing a lot of
delegating and gut-led decision-making -- because he'll
have no time to do much else. Should be interesting.
(Source: TT commentary from, Jan 13, 2010)

-> Citigroup Japan CEO going home

Doug Peterson has become a household name in Japan over the
6 years he has run Citigroup Japan. He has overseen both a
broad expansion of the business with the Nikko acquisition,
then the unhappy unloading of the same assets after the
parent got into financial trouble in the US. We'll be sad
to see him leave, and wish him the best of luck. According
to media sources, he will be replaced by 43-year old Darren
Buckley, currently president of Citibank Japan Ltd.
Apparently Peterson will work with the New York head office
team in charge of repaying Citigroup's bailout money to the
US government. (Source: TT commentary from, Jan 11, 2010)

NOTE: Broken links
Many online news sources remove their articles after just a
few days of posting them, thus breaking our links -- we
apologize for the inconvenience.

--------- BIOS - Bilingual IT Systems and Support ---------

Formed in 1998, BiOS is a full-service IT solutions
provider, delivering SI and business support services to
foreign multinationals, including some of the world's
largest banks, logistics, and retailing companies.

Service Offerings:
* IT Infrastructure Projects, Office Setups/Relocations
* MS Office Training, Hardware/Software Procurement
* IT Personnel Outsourcing and Recruiting
* BiOS NetCare: Bilingual IT Service Desk and Support
* BiOS Advanceserve: Secure Online Data Backup (free trial)

BiOS is committed to providing quality services at
competitive prices. We're here to help!

Phone: 03-5773-3090, Email:



=> BiOS, a Division of the LINC Media group, is actively
marketing the following positions for customers setting up
or expanding in Japan, as well as other employers of


BiOS is now looking for an experienced Sales Team Admin
Support person to join our internal team and provide
support to busy project managers and Business Development
managers. As well as taking customer calls, handling
quotations, and dealing with external procurement orders,
the person will also be responsible for assisting
designated managers with daily tasks and information-
gathering responsibilities, which can include contacting
vendors, clients, LINC Media personnel to schedule meetings
and communicating matters of importance.

As well as your excellent language skills, the ideal person
will have good organizational abilities, and bright outlook
in the face of big work loads, some good customer-facing
experience, and the ability to smile in stressful or busy
situations. The BiOS team is an energetic and enthusiastic
one, so someone with all of this and energy will fit right

Remuneration is JPY3m – JPY3.5m depending on your


- Level 1 Helpdesk/Desktop support engrs, JPY3m – JPY5m
- Network Engineer, Global Telecoms Co, JPY5m – JPY7m
- IT Support Analyst, Tokyo Law Firm, JPY3.5m – JPY5m
- FileNet Architect, European Insurance co., JPY6m – JPY7.5m
- Wintel Server Engineer, Okinawa I-Bank, JPY3m – JPY3.5m

Interested individuals may e-mail resumes to:

** BiOS Job Mail

Every 2 weeks BiOS sends out a regular communication to its
job seeking candidates, called BiOS Job Mail. Every edition
carries a list of BiOS's current and most up-to-date
vacancies, with each entry featuring a short job
description and a direct link to the main entry on the BiOS
home page. Regardless of whether you are unemployed and
searching, thinking about a career change, or just curious
to know if there is something out there that might suit you
better, the BiOS Job Mail newsletter is an easy and
convenient way for you to stay informed. If you would like
to register for the BiOS Job Mail, or to find out more,
please email

Interested individuals may e-mail resumes to:


------ Salesperson for U.S. beauty products company -------

Long-established U.S. hair clipper manufacturer seeks a
dynamic salesperson to join its account management team,
based in Chofu, Tokyo. The firm has a small but solid
presence in Japan and needs 'new blood' to increase sales
to market potential. The job involves visiting salons,
barbers, distributors, and other beauty/grooming-related
industries and presenting new products and campaign offers.

The candidate will have some sales experience and be able
to read English-language email, although only basic English
conversation skills are required. At least a basic
knowledge of the beauty industry is strongly preferred.

Compensation begins at JPY5 million a year, inclusive of
bonuses and other considerations. Although this is an
entry-level position, it has significant longer-term
potential for a candidate with strong leadership skills.

Please contact in English
for more information.



-------------------- MIDEM Event --------------------------

MIDEM+: Your exclusive access to customised business
solutions at MIDEM, the world’s music community

MIDEM+ is an innovative solution to personalise and
maximise your MIDEM experience:
- Personal recommendations from MIDEM+ connectors
- Customised business consulting from MIDEM+ experts
- Exclusive networking events and dedicated services
throughout MIDEM
MIDEM & MIDEM+: 23-27 January 2010

---------------- Start a Company in Japan -----------------

Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 20th of Feb, 2010

If you have been considering setting up your own company,
find out what it takes to make it successful.
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 13 start-up companies in Japan,
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q and A on
starting up a company in Japan.
This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved,
and to ask specific questions that are not normally answered
in business books.
All materials are in English and are Japan-focused.

For more details:


------------------ ICA Event - January 19 -----------------

Speaker: Marco Koeder, M.S., CyberMedia, Executive Manager
Topic: 'Keep it Vibrating'
The Six Immutable Laws of Mobile Business

Details: Complete event details at
(RSVP Required)

Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Time: 6:30 Doors open, Buffet Dinner included and cash bar
Cost: 4,000 yen (members), 6,000 yen (non-members)
Open to all - Venue is Shangri-La Hotel (Conway Rooms 2&3)


------------- Wine Tasting Event -----------------

2010 California Wine Taste Off!! Want to find a favorite
California wine? Why not do it the way the pros do: by
tasting lots of wines at once! is proud
to present our highly popular large-format wine tasting
event, featuring over 75 wines, mainly from California but
from Chile and Argentina, as well.

Take your time and taste a variety of flavors from the
varietals and styles you enjoy most...or branch off on a
new journey of exploration. For this tasting, three of's certified Sommeliers have got together
and chosen delicious yet value-oriented daily-drinking

As with all events, we make it easy to
enjoy the evening and to remember the wines you taste.
All participants will receive a catalog of wines to browse.
And friendly wine advice from the pros at to help you get the most from your

- Date & Time: 02/08/2010 (Mon), 6:00pm-8:00pm
- Venue:Mandarin Oriental Hotel Tokyo 2-1-1 Muromachi,
Nihonbashi, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo
- Admission: 2,950 yen(tax included), Capacity: 100 guests
- Food: Food will not be served at this event.

Tickets at

------------ Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo ------------

* Seminar: Tuesday, February 2nd
Speaker: Mark Peterson, Founder of Notting Hill Cakes

Start off the year with something sweet and join us to hear
Mark Peterson, Founder of Notting Hill Cakes. Established
in Japan in 2006, Notting Hill is Japan's most famous
destination for home-made British and American baked
goods such as cupcakes, cookies and scones. Wholesale and
corporate customers include Dean & Deluca, Hermes, Paul
Smith, Dunhill and Piaget.

Mark has been involved in the baking business since 1990
when he opened his first store in London. In addition, he
worked for five years as a Producer for broadcaster CNBC
Business News in the London bureau.

Please sign up early while seats are available.

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 2nd
- Doors open at 6:30pm, Seminar starts at 7:00pm
Location: The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan
Language: English



In this section we run comments and corrections submitted
by readers. We encourage you to spot our mistakes and
amplify our points, by email, to

*** No comments or feedback this week.


SUBSCRIBERS: 9,522 as of January 17, 2010
(We purge our list regularly.


Written by: Terrie Lloyd (

HELP: E-mail
with the word 'help' in the subject or body (don't include
the quotes), and you will get back a message with

Send letters (Feedback, Inquiries & Information) to the
editor to

For more information on advertising in this newsletter,

Get Terrie's Take by giving your name and email address at, or go
straight to Mailman at:


Copyright 2010 Japan Inc. Communications Inc.

--------------- Japan Inc is opens up Japan ---------------

J@pan Inc is Japan's only independently published English-
language business magazine. Authoritatively chronicling
online the business trends in Japan, each issue brings you
in-depth analysis of business, people and technology in the
world's second largest economy.

Visit for the best business insight on
Japan available.

Terrie mailing list