• SHARE

The state-backed Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan began a full-scale evaluation of Daiei Inc.’s assets Thursday, a day after the ailing retailer decided to seek its help instead of using only private-sector funds.

IRCJ officials said they hope to complete the asset assessment and draft a revival plan by the end of the year.

A 250-strong IRCJ team of outside accountants and lawyers will look into Daiei’s books and interview Daiei President Kunio Takagi and other executives, they said.

The IRCJ has been assessing Daiei’s assets since early September but has made little progress because Daiei has been uncooperative, insisting it would try to rebuild itself through private-sector sponsors.

On Thursday morning, Takagi declined to comment on whether he would resign over Daiei’s troubles.

He said Daiei wants to keep the Daiei Hawks baseball club and has asked the IRCJ to allow it to do so.

Business continued as usual at Daiei’s Tokyo office in Minato Ward. Takagi held a meeting with Daiei executives to explain his decision and sent an e-mail message to all Daiei employees, asking them to try to make stores that will be “loved by customers more than ever.”

Seiken Sugiura, deputy chief Cabinet secretary, told a news conference that it is a “very good thing” that Daiei has decided to work through the IRCJ.

After months of bickering with its three main creditor banks, Daiei reversed course Wednesday, saying it would turn to the IRCJ for help.

UFJ Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Corporate Bank had pressed Daiei to turn to the IRCJ to help expedite their bad-loan writeoffs. An IRCJ-led restructuring program would boost Daiei’s creditworthiness and allow lenders to upgrade billions of yen of remaining Daiei loans, now judged as nonperforming.

Daiei, twice rescued by its creditor banks in 2001 and 2002, originally planned to seek private company support, fearing that approaching the IRCJ would mean losing its control over the revival process.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW