Sanyo to help small companies

Appliance giant to foot half of 10 billion yen investment fund

OSAKA — Sanyo Electric Co. will shortly establish a fund worth about 10 billion yen to help small and midsize companies revitalize their businesses, company officials said Tuesday.

The Osaka-based maker of household electric appliances will finance about half of the fund — to be known as the New Japan Creation Fund.

The fund will invest in smaller companies with annual sales in the range of 5 billion yen, regardless of their business field.

“The fund is aimed at helping companies whose mainstay business is healthy but are struggling with excessive liabilities,” one of the officials said. “Its activities will be of a kind that complements bank activities.”

Sanyo will offer its knowhow in areas such as cost management, which it has nurtured through its business as a manufacturer, the officials said.

It will be the first fund of its kind to be set up by a major Japanese manufacturer.

The foray into financing is part of Sanyo’s larger strategy of expanding its group business outside its mainstay of home electrical appliances, sales of which are now declining.

Sanyo aims to raise the ratio of parent-only operating profits from businesses such as finance and distribution to the group’s operating profits to about 40 percent in fiscal 2005 from 15.8 percent in fiscal 2000, according to the officials.

In preparation, Sanyo set up a wholly owned financial subsidiary, Sanyo Investment Corp., on Oct. 1, to have it establish an investment advisory firm jointly with Pacific Management Corp. for the management of the fund.

Pacific Management deals in real estate investment funds and is listed on the Jasdaq over-the-counter market.

The joint investment advisory firm, to be named Sanyo Pacific Investment Advisory Corp., will be set up Wednesday with a capital of 100 million yen, the officials said.

Sanyo Investment will own 60 percent of the firm, with Pacific Management carrying the remainder. In addition, Sanyo Investment will acquire 2 percent of Pacific Management’s outstanding shares to strengthen ties.

Resona venture fund

OSAKA — The Resona financial group has set up a 2 billion yen investment fund to support venture businesses and profit from them when they are listed, group officials said Tuesday.

The group established the venture investment fund Sept. 30. Resona Holdings Inc. heads the group, which includes Daiwa Bank, Asahi Bank, Kinki Osaka Bank and Nara Bank.

The fund draws on the expertise of the group firms in extending loans to small and midsize companies, the officials said.

The fund aims to help entrepreneurs who leave large companies to launch new businesses, or academics and researchers who set up promising ventures, they said.

It will support those startups, along with some public entities, including Japan Small and Medium Enterprise Corp., and help them get listed.