Vestar establishes Japan affiliate with former Daiwa executives

Vestar Capital Partners, a US private equity firm, has established a Japanese affiliate, which will be headed by Daiwsuke Saji, formerly a senior executive of Daiwa Securities.

Vestar Capital Partners, a US private equity firm with European presence, has ventured into Asia with the opening of an affiliate office in Tokyo.

O’Connell: Japanese companies accepting private equity

Vestar’s foray into Asia will be spearheaded by Daisuke Saji, formerly managing director of Daiwa Securities, and global head of strategic advisory department at the large Japanese securities firm, according to a company statement.

Daniel O’Connell, founder and chief executive officer of Vestar Capital Partners, said: “We believe that Japanese companies are becoming increasingly accepting of private equity as a financing alternative.” He added that the firm has known Saji since 1990.

Prior to joining Daiwa in June 2002, Saji was a director at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, formerly Sumitomo Bank.

Appointed president of Vestar Japan Advisers, Saji will lead a local team that will include Taro Sumitani and Shinji Sunochi, also former Daiwa executives. Joining the team is John Woodard, a long-time Vestar Capital Partners managing director.

Saji: heading up Vestar’s operations in Tokyo

Woodward’s role is to help integrate the culture and practices of Vestar Japan into the broader global firm. Vestar employed a similar strategy when it launched its European affiliates in 2001. It has offices in Milan and Paris.

In December last year, Vestar closed its fifth fund on $3.7 billion. It specialises in mid-market management buyouts and growth capital investments in companies valued between $100 million and $5 billion.

Founded in 1988, it has completed more than 50 investments with a total approximate value of $17 billion in US and Europe. In the US, it has offices in New York, Denver and Boston.