Cerberus Capital sets sights on China

Cerberus Capital Management is planning to extend its Asia presence beyond Japan to China. A new office in Hong Kong is on the cards.

Cerberus Capital Management, the US alternative assets group, is planning to expand its Asian investment activities beyond Japan, where the firm has been operating for over a decade, and into China.

Senior executives including former US Treasury Secretary John Snow, the firm’s chairman, are on an Asian tour, according to a source close to the firm.

Cerberus intends to start its Chinese operations in Hong Kong , according to Wall Street Journal. Snow was quoted in the newspaper as saying the group is considering a range of possible transactions, including possibly assisting Chinese companies interested in acquiring overseas assets.

The firm’s presence in Asia has so far been focused primarily in Japan where it acquired a controlling stake in Aozora Bank in 2003. The firm has invested over $8 billion in Japan.

Other Japanese investments include Kokusai Kogyo KK, a bus transportation and taxi services company, and Showa Jisho, a real estate rental, sales, brokerage and management firm, according to the company website.