Acquiring Japanese companies through legal restructuring proceedings

By Hiroshige Nakagawa, Anderson Mori and Tomotsune

An increasing number of Japanese companies, including Willcom (a mobile telephone service provider) and Aiful (a consumer finance company), are seeking to effect a merger or acquisition through commercial negotiation in accordance with certified alternative dispute resolution procedures prescribed in the Act on Special Measures for Revitalization of Industry and Innovation in Industrial Activities.

However, most acquisitions of insolvent Japanese companies are still conducted by means of a court-supervised restructuring process in accordance with either the Civil Rehabilitation Act or the Corporate Reorganization Act.

In this article we will discuss key issues for acquiring Japanese companies through the court-supervised restructuring processes.

中川裕茂,安德森•毛利•友常律师事务所合伙人 Hiroshige Nakagawa, partner, Anderson Mori and Tomotsune
Hiroshige Nakagawa, partner, Anderson Mori and Tomotsune

Civil rehabilitation versus corporate reorganization

The term “restructuring process” typically refers to the insolvency proceedings under either the Civil Rehabilitation Act or the Corporate Reorganization Act. These two processes are distinct from each other in a number of ways. Firstly, a company filing a petition under the Civil Rehabilitation Act retains the right to conduct its business and to manage and dispose of its property.

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Hiroshige Nakagawa is a partner at Anderson Mori and Tomotsune and a chief representative of its Beijing Office.

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