Mergers and acquisitions have become a popular business strategy for companies looking to expand into new markets. Nowadays, buying and selling websites has become most popular in Japan as well. There are also business advisors and brokers specialized in buying and selling websites.

The main functions required of the M&A advisors are as follows:

  1. look for a seller or a buyer
  2. provide negotiation support
  3. conclude a business transaction

 

M&A advisory firms typically charge a commission (in form of ~% of contract price) when a business transaction is concluded. Business brokers specialized in buying and selling websites are always the same. In this article, we will introduce four major companies engaged in brokerage services for buying and selling websites in Japan.

 

 

(1) Sitecathcer

–URL:http://sitecatcher.net/

–Operator : Faber Company, Inc.

–Fee (1) without brokerage service – direct negotiation

-Basic fee : N/A

-Commission : 3% of the contract price

-Minimum commission : 50,000 yen

–Fee (2) with brokerage service

-Basic fee : 100,000 yen

-Commission : Commission for contract price are calculated based on the following Lehman Formula.

——————————————–

< 20 million yen: 10%

20 million yen – 40 million yen: 9%

40 million yen – 60 million yen: 8%

60 million yen – 80 million yen: 7%

80 million yen – 100 million yen: 6%

> 100 million yen: 5%

——————————————–

–Minimum commission 200,000 yen

–Comparison of commission for contract price of 25 million yen <<2.55 million yen>>

100,000 yen+2 million yen (20 million yen ×10%)+450,000 yen ((25 million yen – 20 million yen)× 9%)

–Features

——————————————–

-Established in June 2005.

-The number of transactions so far has exceeded 700, and the total number of websites registered for sales is 2,500.

-Administrative scriveners, who are familiar with buying and selling websites, make contract documents free of charge.

-Two plans, direct negotiation plan and brokerage plan, are available.

——————————————–

 

(2) Site M&A

–URL : http://www.sitema.jp/

–Operator : GMO Internet, Inc.

–Fee (1) without brokerage service – direct negotiation

-Basic fee : N/A

-Commission : Sell: 15% of the contract price / Buy: Commission-free

-Minimum commission : N/A

–Fee (2) with brokerage service

-Basic fee : 100,000 yen

-Commission : Commission for contract price are calculated based on the following Lehman Formula.

——————————————–

< 20 million yen: 10%

20 million yen – 40 million yen: 9%

40 million yen – 60 million yen: 8%

60 million yen – 80 million yen: 7%

80 million yen – 100 million yen: 6%

> 100 million yen: 5%

——————————————–

–Minimum commission 300,000 yen

–Comparison of commission for contract price of 25 million yen <<2.55 million yen>>

100,000 yen+2 million yen (20 million yen ×10%)+450,000 yen ((25 million yen – 20 million yen)× 9%)

–Features

——————————————–

-Company listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with good reputation and achievement. (The GMO group is a comprehensive internet company which nine group companies are listed.)

-10 years of management record

-Good connection with listed IT & Internet companies and excellent companies.

-The price of websites less than 1 million yen is a marketplace type (1), that direct negotiation between buyer and seller in auction form is conducted. The price of websites over 1 million yen is M&A service type (2), that brokerage service by experts are provided.

——————————————–

(3) SITESTOCK

–URL:http://www.sitestock.jp/

–Operator : SiteStock Inc.

–Fee (1) without brokerage service – direct negotiation

-Basic fee : N/A

-Commission : 3% of the contract price

-Minimum commission : 50,000 yen

–Fee (2) with brokerage service

-Basic fee : 100,000 yen (Only in case of contract signings)

-Commission : 10% of the contract price

–Minimum commission : N/A

–Comparison of commission for contract price of 25 million yen <<2.6 million yen>>

2.5 million yen (25 million yen ×10%)

–Features

——————————————–

– Started in 2007.

– Business approach to several thousand companies. (There are many affiliated partners.)

– (1) the lowest prices in the industry.

– (2) A contingency fee type commission, commission-free in case of contract failure.

——————————————–

(4) SITERADE

–URL :http://www.site-trade.jp/

–Operator : ZESTUS, Inc.

–Fee (1) without brokerage service – direct negotiation

-Basic fee : N/A

-Commission : N/A

-Minimum commission : N/A

–Fee (2) with brokerage service

-Basic fee : Commission-free

-Commission : < 100 million yen: 10% / > 100 million yen: Separate consultation

–Minimum commission 300,000 yen

–Comparison of commission for contract price of 25 million yen <<2.5 million yen>>

25 million yen ×10%

–Features

——————————————–

– Established in July 2006.

– Specialized in corporations. Websites operated by individuals are not eligible.

– (2) A contingency fee type commission, commission-free in case of contract failure.

——————————————–

※Amounts are all tax excluded. As of 27 March 2017

 

 

Given the above information can clarify the following two points:

First, there is a trend that small-scale business websites become a marketplace type that buyer-seller interact directly. On the contrary, buying and selling high-priced business websites are usually conducted with support of the M&A advisors.

Second, each M&A advisory company has different commission rates and basic fees, but the basic fee structure is more similar to each other.

 

Please note that company which offers a lower commission rate is not always good. M&A service quality and engagement are more important than the fee. For good mergers and acquisitions advisory and brokerage services, it is more important that the company how to negotiate with good partners to make good conditions and how quickly it can make a prompt decision. For this reason, even if the commission are somewhat high, the overall merit will increase when the transaction is concluded.

 

It would be a good idea to have these options when launching a new business or as an exit strategy for your business.

Many foreigners like learning Japanese through various media such as comics and animations. But, some business people may feel this is not enough. Given that, we have selected some business-theme related Japanese TV dramas that both Japanese learners and business people enjoy. The following are my favorite Top 3 and other popular dramas.

 

No1

“Hagetaka”

It’s a business drama that depicts the battle between Japanese bankers trying to prevent buyouts by foreign investors. It is said that the awareness of the threats to acquisitions raised among Japanese businesspeople after broadcasting this drama. Recommended for those who are interested in the topics like M&A, corporate rehabilitation and foreign fund.

 

Watch this program on DVD

http://amzn.to/2r3AM8G

 

No2

“Hanzawa Naoki”

The drama follows the story of Hanzawa Naoki, a banker working for the largest bank in Japan, faces numerous obstacles from upper management as he climbs his way up the ranks.

The story is interesting that it offers an in-depth look at the constraints of those close-knit in bank’s internal structure. It is one of the super popular TV drama with a consistent high rating of 42.2%. A popular signature phrase of Hanzawa, “Yararetara yarikaesu! Bai gaeshi da!!” (An eye for an eye! I will just fight back twice as much!!”), was also chosen as a buzzword for 2013.

 

Watch this program on DVD

http://amzn.to/2r3v1YK

 

No3

“SoratobuTaiya”

A drama with the theme of a flying tire accident and hiding recalls by major automakers. It gives a realistic depiction of the conflict between people working in an organization called “company”, and the relationship between large companies and their subcontractors.

 

Watch this program at AmazonPrime(30 days free trial). https://goo.gl/PsFH3b

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3nf0L

 

“Kabuka Bōraku”

It depicts a restructured mega supermarket targeted by bombings terrorism, and the widespread darkness among its main bank. It’s a drama that combines various elements of financial drama, corporate suspense and police drama.

 

Watch this program at AmazonPrime(30 days free trial). https://goo.gl/ss0mGb

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r37pmY

 

“Kansa Hōjin”

It’s an economic drama that depicts the battle between a company and an audit corporation.

With the theme of accounting audit, it’s recommended for people involved in accounting and auditing.

 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3m5ma

 

 

“Genkai Shuraku Kabushikigaisha”

The story is about reconstruction of rural areas where have experienced depopulation. A management consultant has appeared in rural areas and tries to reconstruct the area though agriculture with a group of young people from city. It’s recommended for people who are interested in topics like regional reconstruction, consulting, as well as Japanese mentality in the countryside.

 

Watch this program at VideoMarket(1 month free trial). https://goo.gl/GkYCxB 

 

“Saisei Kyoryu”

A human drama that takes place in logistics industry, depicting the conflict and regeneration of a man who, although has abilities, is still suffering a demotion transfer after his failure. You may be drawn into the story because of its detailed description of the restraints of Japanese companies.

 

Watch this program at AmazonPrime(30 days free trial). https://goo.gl/RG0gci 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r38sTW

 

“Shitamachi Rocket”

The story is related to the development of domestic rocket engine, depicting a small factory in downtown fighting against a huge company. It’s recommended for those who are interested in small and medium-sized manufacturers which support the Japanese manufacturing.

 

Watch this program at VideoMarket(1 month free trial). https://goo.gl/GkYCxB 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3mZPl

 

“Cheisu: Kokuzei sasatsukan”

The story is about a huge asset of 600 billion yen, depicting the battle between the National Tax Inspector and the tax evasion consultant. It’s recommended for those who are interested in tax consulting or tax havens.

 

Watch this program at VideoMarket(1 month free trial). https://goo.gl/GkYCxB 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2s60kR2 

 

“Hanasaki Mai Speaks Out”

The story follows a female employee working for the bank 5 years, overcomes many challenges one after another within the Bank. Although it’s a comic origin story that lacks reality, everyone can easy to enjoy.

 

Watch this program at VideoMarket(1 month free trial). https://goo.gl/GkYCxB 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3tima 

 

“Made in Japan”

It’s a drama that depicts a giant electric manufacturer, just before bankruptcy, attempts to rebuild in the lithium ion battery market. It’s recommended for those who are interested in Japanese manufacturing industry and international competition with foreign enterprises.

 

Watch this program at VideoMarket(1 month free trial). https://goo.gl/GkYCxB 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3F3sJ

 

“Roosevelt Game”

Medium-sized precision instrument manufacturers on the verge of bankruptcy are facing the crisis of absorption merger. The story depicts a miracle reversal play “Roosevelt Game” by overlapping the fight against competitors with the struggle of company’s baseball team.

 

Watch this program at AmazonPrime(30 days free trial). https://goo.gl/cK14kk 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3sFsB  

 

“LEADERS”

The story is based on Toyota’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, depicts the people who spend their whole lives on domestic automobile manufacturing. It’s recommended for those who are interested in Japanese manufacturers, automobile manufacturing, Toyota etc.

Watch this program at VideoMarket(1 month free trial). https://goo.gl/GkYCxB 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3zMkP

 

 

“Kanryotachi no Natsu”

It tells the story of the industries and government officials, who are carrying out their mission to make Japan, the defeated country, as affluent and wealthy as the western world. It’s recommended for people who are interested in Japan at the time of high economic growth.

 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3hhwW 

 

“Shizumanu Taiyō”

The drama depicts the battle of company labor union modeled on Japan Airlines in the 1960 – 1980s. With the theme of labor unions, it’s recommended for people involved in personnel affaires and labor.

 

Watch this program on DVD vol 1 http://amzn.to/2r3m8hS 

Watch this program on DVD vol 2 http://amzn.to/2r3tEsW

 

“Taiyo no Wana”

It’s a romantic-suspense story that depicts the protagonist is suspected of being an industrial espionage in relation to the technology of solar power generation. It’s recommended for those who are interested in themes such as intellectual property or patent warfare.

 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2s69NYv

 

“Top sales”

A story of a woman who changes her career and eventually becomes a president of a car sales company in a male-oriented society of the 1970’s. It’s recommended for people who are interested in Japanese car industry after the war, or successful career woman in Japan. Since Japanese famous cars such as Toyota 2000 GT are also appeared, car fans can also enjoy the story.

 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2s67JA2

 

“Rich Man, Poor Woman”

It’s a romantic comedy drama, tells a love story between the president of an IT venture company and a student from the University of Tokyo right out of college. Although some business people may feel the content is not enough, IT-related people may enjoy, since it’s a story taken place in an IT company.

 

Watch this program at FujiTV on demand https://goo.gl/ORjIRw 

Watch this program on DVD http://amzn.to/2r3u9TI 

 

Some occupations and industries that I’d like to recommend are listed. All the stories are interesting, and I do believe everyone else can enjoy the stories. Let’s practice listening skills while enjoying Japanese TV dramas!

These days on YouTube, many non-Japanese express their opinions on Japan and discuss how to learn Japanese.

Today, I’d like to introduce an interesting video explains Japanese proverbs in a quiz format;

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KoQYyeGfy0

 

Since many of Japanese proverbs reflect the Japanese culture, sometimes the knowledge on them helps understanding the Japanese values. The followings are some of sayings in this video. Well, how many Japanese proverbs do you understand??

 

「Saru mo ki kara ochiru」

「Kappa no kawa nagare」

「Onnagokoro to aki no sora」

「Ishibashi o tataite wataru」

「Jakuniku kyooshoku」

「Sawaranukami ni tatarinashi」

「Deru kui wa utareru」

「Uma no mimi ni nenbutsu」

「Juunin toiro」

「Ashita wa ashita no kaze ga fuku」

「Donguri no seikurabe」

「Tsuki to suppon」

「Neko ni koban」

「Makeru ga kachi」

「Nasake wa hito no tamenarazu」

「Nou aru taka wa tsume o kakusu」

「Koubou fude o erabazu」

 

If you are interested in the Japanese sayings, please refer to this site as well;

 

http://www.geocities.jp/tomomi965/ichiran.html

 

Although I knew only about the half of them, 489 pieces of the Japanese proverbs are listed in this site. I believe that knowing Japanese proverbs can be some tips for better communication with Japanese.

 

 

Some of J-OS members may be studying Japanese language now for current work or for future career opportunities.

As for the question of when you should start studying for business Japanese, I recommend all Japanese learners to build up a basic knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and vocabulary at first.

That is because most of Japanese expressions and terms often used in business situations are difficult and time-consuming to understand for the beginner level, which is not an efficient way of learning Japanese.

So, which stage will be the best to begin business Japanese for learners?

Although there are recently some business Japanese textbooks targeting beginner level, I should say that JLPT N3 or level 5 of J-OS level map are at least required.(Such factors as needs, urgency or receptiveness vary between individuals, of course.)

Skipping basic level of Japanese is something like beginning a triathlon without any previous preparation.

First of all, you need to improve your basic physical fitness by such step-by-step process as mastering 10 km marathon and then 1 km swimming. Secondly, try to extend the distance gradually with less impact on your body. Finally, as a result, you will be able to cross the finish line in less time than expected.

As you can see, making a realistic plan is an important key to successful Japanese language learning.

 

Do you know why the word “blue” expresses a color of new leaves which is actually “green”?

In old Japan, it’s said that there were only four words used to represent colors: black, white, red and blue.

 

So the word “blue” had a broad meaning that included green and purple. Even in today’s Japan, the distinction between green and blue is not very clear.

For example, we say the color of the traffic signal that indicates you can proceed is “blue”, and we also say “blue apples”, “blue insects” and “blue vegetables. There is a long-standing tradition in Japanese language of using the word “blue” to describe green things.

In English you can use the word “green” to indicate that someone is inexperienced, such as “He’s still green.” In Japanese, we can express the same concept using color, but we say “He’s still blue.” You may find it interesting to compare differences in expressions involving green and blue in each of your own languages.

Which do you prefer, hand writing notes or typing on a computer keyboard when learning something new?

Possibly, those who like typing insist that we can type significantly faster than writing and that it allows us to do more, like engaging in online activities.

Nevertheless, a couple of studies prove that we learn better when we take notes by hand than when we type on a keyboard. Why is writing down notes with a pen more efficient than typing?

Scientifically speaking, writing in longhand is important because it stimulates a parts of the brain “RAS”(= the Reticular Activating System) that typing simply doesn’t. The RAS acts as a filter for everything your brain needs to process information, giving more attention to the stuff you are currently focused on.

Dr. Virginia Berninger, who studies reading and writing systems and their relationship to learning processes, says the difference between handwriting and typing: the act of handwriting is engaging the brain more actively by using our hands to form the letters and connect them. Typing, on the other hand, involves just selecting letters by pressing identical-looking keys.

Of course, whether the pen or the keyboard depends on your personal experience and comfort with these tools. As a compromise, perhaps stylus-friendly tablet PCs or digital pens may help us learning something better.

 

Reference:

http://lifehacker.com/5738093/why-you-learn-more-effectively-by

Do you have the opportunity to read Japanese business books?

Reading books written in Japanese will help you improve your Japanese reading comprehension.

If it is a business book, it is useful also for business skills UP, so it is two birds with one stone.

 

But,

  • It is difficult to read Japanese books because it takes long time…
  • It is hard to choose a useful book for me…

For these reasons you may not be able to read?

 

Therefore, this time I will introduce services that will solve these troubles.

That is “book summary service”.

You may know getAbstract etc.

 

There are several similar services in Japan so I chose the following two from the point of view,

“Business books are handled a lot”

“Abstract quality is high”

“Site UI is good”

 

(1) Flier : https://www.flierinc.com/

Features:

  • From topical books and masterpieces, celebrities such as managers and university professors, experts, etc. have chosen “books that business people should read now”.
  • Management consultants and experts in each field prepare a summary.
  • It corresponds to PC smartphone tablet.
  • It is summarized so that it can be read in about 10 minutes.

(* For non-Japanese, it may take longer)

  • Because you can choose from categories, it is easy to find a book that suits you.

There are categories such as “Skill-up career” “Self-development / mind” “Productivity / time management” “Leadership management” “Management strategy” “Entrepreneurial innovation” “Personnel” “Marketing” “Finance” “Technology IT” “Science” “trend”.

 

Plan:

  • Free plan (free)

Viewable number: 20 (2 changes per month)

Number of additional contents: none

  • Silver Plan (500 yen / month)

Viewable number: Free plan + up to 5 from charged contents every month.

Number of additional contents: About 30 books every month

  • Gold plan (2,000 yen / month)

Viewable number:: Unlimited

Number of additional contents: About 30 books every month

 

 

(2) BOOK-SMART : https://book-smart.jp

Features:

  • A professional staff with abundant business experience is preparing a summary at about 3,500 characters.
  • You can read over 400 good books on the website anytime.
  • 2 or 3 books are newly added each week.
  • You can read it by email, too.
  • Distributing essential readers of business people such as new topics and long sellers.

 

Plan:

  • Subscription (6 month contract) (1,500 yen / month)
  • Subscription (1 year contract) (1,350 yen / month)
  • Subscription (2 year contract) (1,275 yen / month)

 

* All amounts stated are without tax.

* The amounts of BOOK-SMART is the amount when converted in the monthly amount. Actually, users need to pay the amount according to the contract period.

 

Both sites introduced a new book “Job Theory” by Clayton M. Christensen (original title: Competing Against Luck), so I will link each of them for you. I think both are compactly summarized.

https://www.flierinc.com/summary/1164

https://book-smart.jp/16750/

 

It will be a good story in a conversation with a Japanese business person, so please try it.

 

 

In this article, we will introduce a company called Mercari, Inc., that might be the world’s top Japanese IT company for the following three reasons:

 

Reason 1: A strong management team

Mercari has so far raised 12.6 billion yen in funding. As its business in Japan has matured and grown with an increase in the operating profit, in the future it will probably invest human resources and capital proactively to expand overseas markets.

 

Mr. Yamada (President of Mercari. Inc.) is a key person who sold the network company Unoh to Zynga. He is known as a serial entrepreneur in startup industry in Japan.

 

Mr. Ishizuka (Director of Mercari, Inc.) who grew up in America, has a career in establishing the online social media networking, RockYou Inc, in Silicon Valley.

 

Mr. Koizumi was responsible for IPOs of leading Japanese companies such as Mixi and DeNA when working for a securities company. Then, he had provided consultation and other assistance to several startup companies, and joined Mercari in 2013.

 

Mr. Nagasawa (CFO of Mercari. Inc.) graduated from the Graduate School of?Business at the University of Chicago and then joined Goldman Sachs. He joined Mercari in 2015 after taking charge of IT-related M&A and IPOs in Tokyo and San Francisco.

 

In addition, Mercari’s management team brings together a wealth of elite entrepreneurial and sales experience, excellent members are gathered under the leadership of Mr. Yamada to further develop the business.

 

Reason 2: A great user interface

Compared to other flea-market app, Mercari has a very good ease of use. The company’s customer support team provides comprehensive support at the back, it can respond to a large number of user inquiries at a great speed to improve service quality.

 

Reason 3: Innovative corporate human resources

Mr. Ishiguro (Human Resources Department) was chosen as “Wantedly Award 2016” by Wantedly, Inc., a company provides social recruiting tool. Mr. Ishiguro is so famous in the Japanese IT industry that I doubt there would be a single person who doesn’t know him. He is engaged in various events regardless of online or offline, and many excellent talents decide to join one after another.

 

 

 

However, one point I have concerned is that there is no foreign executive in the company. As I mentioned before, “companies who do not hire foreigners in executive or HR are more difficult to globalize” (please refer to this article for details).

Mercari is now actively hiring bilingual talents, I believe that foreign executives?and HR staffs will come out soon.

 

 

https://www.mercari.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mercari-shopping-marketplace/id896130944?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mercariapp.mercari&hl=ja

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