ICG closes Tokyo office

The UK-listed mezzanine house is the latest firm to close a Tokyo office after having found the Japanese market difficult to penetrate. It will instead bolster its team in Sydney, where it has seen more deal flow.

Mezzanine capital provider Intermediate Capital Group has shut down its Tokyo office, which opened in 2007. Intermediate Capital declined to comment.

Tomohiro Kikuta, a former investment professional based in the Tokyo office, has departed the firm, said sources close to the firm. Intermediate Capital has not done a deal in Japan. 

Intermediate Capital intends to beef up its presence in Australia, according to sources. Its Sydney office presently has one investment professional, Max Mitchell. Its other office in Asia is in Hong Kong.

In September 2008, the firm invested in Sydney-based Veda, a supplier of consumer and commercial credit reporting in Australia and New Zealand. It arranged an A$150 million mezzanine facility and also acquired A$30 million of the company’s existing subordinated debt in the secondary market.

Last October, Intermediate Capital closed its second Asia Pacific fund on $1 billion. This was double the size of the fund’s predecessor.

In a similar move, Unitas Capital, formerly known as CCMP Capital Asia, has closed its Tokyo office to concentrate its resources on markets in greater China, Korea and Australasia. Sun Capital also shut its doors in Tokyo.