RHJ International boosts Asian presence with new appointments

RHJ International, Euronext-listed holding company of US buyout firm Ripplewood, has boosted its Asian presence creating a new subsidiary and making new hires.

RHJ International, the Belgium listed holding company of US buyout firm Ripplewood, has created a new subsidiary to expand its exposure in Asia, and hired two Japanese executives to spearhead the efforts.

The new subsidiary ‘RHJI Industrial Partners Asia’ will complement RHJI’s existing Tokyo-based operations, “to focus on new investments and the enhancement of existing investments throughout Asia,” according to a company statement.

The business will be headed by Hideki Kurashige who will serve as an industrial partner, senior managing director and president of the new unit from October. Kurashige, currently a director of Softbank Corp, was formerly president, chief executive officer and representative executive officer of Japan Telecom.

Joining Kurashige is Ryuichi Tomimura, currently a director at Softbank IDC Corp, a data centre business. Tomimura will join RHIJ Industrial Partners Asia as managing director and executive vice-president.

Both Kurashige and Tomimura previously held senior positions at both PWC Consulting and IBM.

Elsewhere, RHJI has taken onboard William Donaldson, former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, as senior advisor and Greg Brenneman, former chief executive officer of Burger King, as a global industrial partner.

RHJI has also appointed Richard Shirrefs as executive vice-president to monitor non-automotive investments; Anthony Barone, interim chief financial officer to assume more responsibility for the company’s automotive-related investments; and Jean-Marc Roelandt, as vice-president in finance and accounting.

RHJI’s most recent Asian investment was in Korea. It teamed up with a strategic Indian partner to acquire Daewoo Electronics, Korea’s third largest consumer electrical brand in a $700 million transaction.