Longreach bets on Japanese cable firm’s revival

The Japan-focused private equity house has acquired OCC Corporation, a cable systems company, from the IRCJ, the state-backed corporate rescue organisation.

Longreach Group, a private equity investor with offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong, has acquired OCC Corporation from the Industrial Revitalisation Corporation of Japan (IRCJ) for an undisclosed sum.

OCC has a troubled background. According to press releases issued by the state rescue group, it accepted an application for assistance from OCC in August 2004 and has since then overseen various purchases of the company’s debt and the implementation of a debt for equity swap.

According to its website, the state-backed group was launched in April 2003 to “target assistance at companies that have sound business fundamentals but are unable to thrive because of excessive debt levels or other factors”.

In a statement announcing the deal, Longreach said it “believes in OCC’s future as a leading communications cable company supporting the expansion of global telecommunications infrastructure, based on the company’s excellent production and development technology and strong relationships with customers”.

Launched in October 2003 and headed by former Australian investment banker Mark Chiba, Longreach closed its debut fund on a hard cap of ¥82.5 billion ($750 million; €607 million) in April this year.

In July 2005, the firm acquired a near-25 percent stake in hamburger chain McDonald’s Japan for a sum reported to be around ¥75 billion.