Nomura and Sparx to create platform to invest in unlisted companies

TOKYO: Nomura Holdings Inc said on Thursday it would team up with asset manager Sparx Group in investing in unlisted companies in Japan, aiming to create a listed platform with capacity at over 100 billion yen ($961 million).

The move comes as Japan’s top brokerage and investment bank seeks new growth in private equity under Chief Executive Kentaro Okuda, who took the helm last year.

The alliance “aims to meet growing demand for risk money through the private markets, particularly financing needs of unlisted companies with growth potential,” Masahiro Goto, Nomura’s global head of investment banking, said in a briefing.

It also hopes to provide individual investors with opportunities to invest their assets in growth of unlisted companies, he said.

After a few years of privately placed investments, a joint asset management firm between Nomura and Sparx will aim to list an investment corporation on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Venture Funds Market, eventually expanding its capacity to over 100 billion yen.

“There aren’t many unicorns in Japan partly because companies go public in early stages, and also because there aren’t many funds committed to late-stage growth companies,” Masatoshi Fukami, Sparx Group’s deputy CEO, said at the briefing.

“We will engage in companies to help raise their corporate value even after their IPOs,” he said. ($1 = 104.0500 yen)