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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Growing M&A Activities and their Impact on Japan's Corporate System

June 5, 2000 / 6.30 P.M.

Jörg Raupach-Sumiya

Mergers & Acquisition have long been considered a taboo in Japan’s corporate world. Due to the reliance on internal growth, external growth strategies by means of active M&A have played only a minor role within the corporate strategies of Japanese firms. Large-scale mergers in the past quite often were carefully orchestrated by the bureaucracy in the context of industrial and labor policy. Above all, stable (cross-) shareholdings within corporate networks effectively blocked the emergence of an active market for corporate control.

Since the mid 1990’s this picture has changed substantially. Japan’s M&A market -though still tiny and underdeveloped in an international context- has been growing rapidly and major acquisitions, including some by foreign companies, have made the headlines. In his presentation, Dr. Raupach-Sumiya will provide an overview on Japan’s M&A market and give an analysis of its main characteristics. He will assess the growing importance of M&A as a new element of corporate strategies in Japan and their underlying objectives. Furthermore, it will be asked to what extent the growth of M&A may have an impact on Japan’s system of corporate governance.

Dr. Raupach-Sumiya is a Research Associate at the Economic Section of the German Institute for Japanese Studies. His main fields of research are Japanese management, corporate governance, and small- and medium-sized enterprises.