Corporate revitalization body rolls up its sleeves


The Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan, the government’s latest attempt to deal with the nation’s bad-loan mess and resuscitate ailing companies, launched full-blown operations Thursday.

Based in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district, the IRCJ has a roster of 77 officials, led by former Nomura Securities Co. Vice President Atsushi Saito.

It is supported by turnaround experts described by Saito as the “the greatest team of professionals.”

The IRCJ has hired four top-notch practitioners to lead its corporate resuscitation efforts, including Akitoshi Nakamura, a former managing director of U.S. investment fund Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

Nakamura will serve as the body’s managing director.

The others, who will serve as executive directors, are: Hisao Tateishi, former president of Phoenix Capital; Jun Matsumoto, ex-vice president of GMAC Commercial Mortgage Japan; and Yoshihide Watanabe, executive at the Japan arm of U.S. investment fund Cerberus Group.

Saito warned staffers who attended the grand opening ceremony that the IRCJ cannot be complacent.

“The IRCJ is bound to face a rocky future,” he said. “We must proceed with modesty, caution and audacity.”

The body will accept joint applications for restructuring assistance from struggling businesses and their main creditors.

If the restructuring plans are approved, the IRCJ will buy up loans held by secondary banks, become a major stakeholder and push for corporate reform together with main banks.

It is scheduled to be disbanded in five years.

Also on Thursday, the IRCJ held its first meeting of the seven-member Industrial Revitalization Committee, formally selecting lawyer Shinjiro Takagi as its chairman.