New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan
Corporate investment in New Zealand
Embassy calls on Mitsui
Paul Roberts, First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy and Koji Hikosaka, Investment Manager, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, called on Mitsui & Co Ltd on 12 June. Mitsui has a long history of business in New Zealand. It invests in areas such as dairy products, gas and imports products such as iron sand from New Zealand.
The Embassy staff met with Hiroyuki Sakai, Operating Officer, Food Products and Services Business Unit, and Hiroshi Fujii, General Manager, Dairy Products Department. Sakai described how Mitsui’s investment had helped to establish Synlait’s innovative, world-class dairy processing facilities in Canterbury, New Zealand. The Synlait business continues to go from strength to strength with most of its products currently being supplied to a global network of countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Sakai and Fujii both commented that establishing the plant had been relatively hassle-free, with none of the regulatory or legal problems experienced in some other countries. They commented favourably on New Zealand’s “clear and open” investment environment. Accordingly, Mitsui was continuing to explore other investment opportunities in New Zealand.
Embassy calls on Suntory
Paul Roberts, First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy, and Koji Hikosaka, Investment Manager, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, called on Suntory Holdings Limited on 17 June. They met with Takumi Kokita and Rie Tamura of the Global Human Resources Department.
Suntory Holdings owns New Zealand company Frucor which is a leading Australasian drinks company. Frucor manufactures, markets and distributes a range of fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, waters and soft drinks, many of which are household names throughout New Zealand and Australia. Its energy drinks are also distributed throughout Europe and the UK. Frucor is leading Suntory’s Australasian business.
Kokita and Tamura said that Suntory’s experience in New Zealand has been very positive. Suntory has found Frucor’s friendly, open-minded and entrepreneurial culture particularly suited to Suntory’s way of doing business (e.g. Frucor’s “Go for it!” slogan mirrors Suntory’s vision "Yatte minahare". Suntory provides a training programme whereby it sends one up-and-coming employee to New Zealand every year to learn about global business. Suntory owns a leading Top League rugby team in Japan and also sends players to New Zealand to develop their rugby skills.
Embassy Calls on INCJ
Paul Roberts, First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy, and Koji Hikosaka, Investment Manager, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, called on Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) on 19 June. They met with Investment Group Managing Director, Shinichi Takahashi and Investment Group Director, Osamu Itabashi.
INCJ, a unique public-private partnership, was launched in July 2009 with a 15-year lifespan. It has an overall investment capacity of two trillion yen which it deploys to complete acquisitions by partners. It aims to grow next-generation businesses through ‘open innovation’ by supporting existing and new players in selected segments of the industry. In principle, it actively participates in governance of portfolio companies. Its portfolio of companies now sits at over 70, including overseas acquisitions. INCJ’s funding is pooled from government and private sources and its staff have been drawn from the private sector.
On 25 April 2014, INCJ has agreed, together with Oji Holdings Corporation (Oji HD), to acquire Carter Holt Harvey Pulp and Paper (CHHPP), the pulp, paperboard and packaging businesses of Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) and its other related companies (CHHPP Group) for NZ$1.037 billion. INCJ will contribute up to NZ$363 million. INCJ will hold 40% and Oji HD will hold 60% of the voting rights of CHHPP Group, respectively.