State-backed Cool Japan Fund to invest in TV channels and retail properties offshore

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 03, 2013 04:49 AM EST

Japan is promoting products its deems cool enough through a state-backed fund led by a former Carlyle Group LP manager, Bloomberg said in a report. 

According to the report, Cool Japan Fund Inc. is looking to buy television channels and invest in retail property abroad to showcase the country's cuisine, fashion and animation. Cool Japan was created last week with JPY57.5 billion (USD560 million) in committed capital. 

Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Lixil Group Corp. and Dentsu Inc. are among 15 Japanese companies that invested a total of JPY7.5 billion in the fund. The remaining JPY50 billion came from the Japanese government, Bloomberg said. 

Cool Japan chief investment officer Koichiro Yoshizaki told Bloomberg that the fund is unlike typical private equity firms that seek returns over a short period. He said Cool Japan is going to invest in companies over the long term in the areas of food, fashion and media content. 

The report said that Cool Japan is seeking TV channels in markets including the US to broadcast Japanese drama shows, cartoons and movies. It may also invest in projects to build Japan-oriented shopping streets in regions including Southeast Asia. 

Yoshizaki previously worked at Carlyle Group's Tokyo office, Bloomberg said.  

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