• Kyodo

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Ripplewood Holdings LLC plans to spend up to 200 billion yen more over the next three years to purchase Japanese companies, Tim Collins, Ripplewood’s chief executive officer, told Kyodo News on Thursday.

The U.S. investment fund has already absorbed the former Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, now called Shinsei Bank, the failed Seagaia resort complex, and Nippon Columbia Co., for a total layout of 290 billion yen.

Ripplewood has sought Japanese firms in the electronic technology, resort and auto parts sectors as they have high growth potential, Collins said, adding, the next acquisition may be concluded sometime this year.

He also suggested it is likely that Ripplewood will purchase banks and insurers, saying Masamoto Yashiro, president of Shinsei Bank, will be in charge of such acquisitions.

Ripplewood will be able to raise funds even if the cost of buying financial institutions exceeds 200 billion yen, and the aggregate market value of its investments will rise to 500 billion yen to 1 trillion yen in three years, Collins said.

Collins said criticism that Ripplewood only aims at short-term investment returns is full of misunderstanding.

He said corporate purchases do not proceed successfully without bringing about positive effects on the Japanese economy and companies in general, and he has focused on how to improve companies rather than how to gain investment profits.

Collins established Ripplewood in 1995 after working for a consulting firm and investment bank in the United States.

It now has $4 billion in investment funds, more than half of which has been put into Japan.

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