Sun Capital nabs Nikko man in Japan

The turnaround specialist’s Japanese arm has appointed as chairman and chief executive Akitoshi Nakamura, a private equity pro whose resume includes roles at Nikko, Ripplewood and the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan.

Akitoshi Nakamura has been appointed to lead Sun Capital Japan, the nearly 2-year old affiliate of Florida-based turnaround specialist Sun Capital Partners.

Nakamura was most recently vice chairman and director of Japanese private equity firm Nikko Principal Investments Japan. From 2003 to 2007 he was a managing director for the Board of the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan (IRCJ), a government-sponsored entity established to assist troubled companies with restructuring. He was also a managing director at Ripplewood Japan from 1999 to 2003, spent six years during the 1990s with Citibank Japan as general counsel and general manager of its individual investment and strategic planning departments, and practiced law with Nishimura and Sanada and Sullivan and Cromwell.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Nakamura-san since 1998 and am very pleased to welcome him as chairman and CEO of Sun Capital Japan,” Gary Talarico, Sun Capital Partners managing director, said in a statement. “His broad and relevant background in law, banking, and private equity, as well as his unique experience as one of the most senior executives at IRCJ, are an excellent match with Sun Capital's focus on turnaround investing. In combination with Shigeru Utsugi, Sun Capital Japan’s Managing Director in Tokyo, Nakamura-san will form a superb leadership team.”

Nakamura noted that, “Sun Capital’s focus on operational improvements coupled with its global operating management resources are a great fit with the challenges that Japanese companies face today as they adjust to economic change and globalisation”.

The firm did its first Japanese deal in May last year, paying an undisclosed sum for Japanese fruit snack maker Tarami.

Sun is one of many private equity firms increasing its attention on the Japanese market, traditionally considered adverse to foreign buyouts. Ripplewood, Cerberus Capital Management, TPG, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital are among the firms that have made Japanese investments.

Sun Capital Partners Japan targets Japanese companies that have leading market positions and generate ¥5 billion to ¥500 billion in sales.