The eagle eyed will have spotted that our revised ranking below for the top 30 largest Japanese employers in Europe for the year ending 2016 is not quite in rank order. Only a third of the reports covering the financial year ending 2017 are available but based on what we can dig out, we can say that acquisition hungry Nidec have topped 10,000 employees in Europe so will be higher than their 2016 ranking. Dentsu Aegis have also been gobbling up agencies and Bridgestone has acquired a couple of tyre companies in France.
Some of the more established technology brands have been acquiring around Europe too such as Panasonic (Ficosa in Spain, Zetes in Belgium), Konica Minolta (Mobotix in Germany, Dactyl & OMR in France) and Sony (eSaturnus in Belgium, Plumbee and Ministry of Sound and TruTV in the UK).
At the same time, Japanese companies are beginning to consider exiting investments, which is a relatively new development. Some have had this forced on them of course, like Toshiba selling Landis & Gyr and Westinghouse. Lixil was a new entrant into the top 30, having acquired Grohe, the German bathroom company and Permasteelisa, the Italian construction company but is now in the process of selling the latter to a Chinese company. “It may have been forced to sell assets it had trouble integrating” according to a source quoted in the Financial Times.
Hitachi, having acquired German company Metabo in 2015/6 is now selling it off with the sale of its power tools division to KKR.
Toshiba may well fall out of the rankings as a consequence of selling off its businesses and Takata may no longer qualify as a Japanese company, as it is about to be acquired by Chinese company Key Safety Systems.
For the full report of the M&A activities of the biggest Japanese companies in Europe, please contact Pernille Rudlin (pernillerudlinrudlinconsultingcom)
Top 30 Japanese companies in Europe 2021
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*Best estimate as figures not disclosed in annual report
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