Acquiring a Japanese company, M&A in Japan

by Gerhard Fasol

Acquiring a Japanese company

We work with Foreign Companies to invest in or acquire Japanese companies and we work with Japanese companies on overseas acquisitions and investments

The number of mergers and acquisitions in Japan is considerably lower than in Europe and in the USA, but rapidly rising.
Partnering, investing in, and acquiring Japanese companies are options for foreign companies to break into Japan’s market, to expand business in Japan and to acquire Japanese technologies – especially manufacturing technologies.

Thorough preparations and a carefully structured and systematic approach reduces risks and increases the chances of success

Our M&A playbook for Japan

Starting point is a thorough understanding of our clients business plan and strategy for business expansion and investments in Japan and globally. We assign a team of experts. We will search thoroughly for potential Japanese partner companies – in some cases this may mean compiling and profiling 300 or 500 companies. We will then prepare a shortlist of about 10 companies which we will analyze in detail and prepare a ranked shortlist.

In cooperation with our customer we will prepare a detailed understanding of the circumstances of top-ranked companies and will work with the customer on preparing partnership, investments or acquisition.

Japan investments – due diligence

When considering partnership, investment in, or acquisition of a Japanese company it is essential to perform due diligence. Due diligence needs to include:

  • financial due diligence (performed by accredited accountants)
  • legal due diligence (performed by Japanese lawyers)
  • general due diligence: understanding the real business situation of the company
  • technology due diligence
  • environmental and regulatory due diligence concerning the real estate or factories

We focus on technology and general business due diligence, and we cooperate with licensed Japanese partners to conduct environmental and regulatory due diligence.

M&A Track record

  • Assisted a French pharmaceutical company to acquire a pharmaceutical factory in Japan: in cooperation with a leading Japanese environmental engineering company we performed environmental and regulatory due diligence, determined about 10 problem areas, determined remedy costs, risks, and assisted with negotiations to achieve a fair acquisition pricing taking account of the issues we found
  • We worked with the global M&A team of Japan’s largest telecom/IT group on their strategy for Europe. We prepared the entrance strategy for 17 industry verticals including acquisition strategies, proposed a list of telecom infrastructure companies for potential acquisition or investment, and prepared potential partnerships with large European telcos.
  • Performed technology and general due diligence on a Japanese energy efficient fuel company
  • For an US industrial company, we analyzed the ASIC chip design market in Japan and searched for suitable cooperation, investment and acquisition partners
  • and much more