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Introduction of Group Companies
Value One Autumn 2007 No. 18
Asahi Kizai Co., Ltd. started operations as a Takenaka Corporation construction equipment and material leasing subsidiary. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and sustained by flourishing building construction demand, such as the redevelopment project in Tokyo's Marunouchi district, the company aims for yet more growth.
Close Links with Takenaka Corporation

Asahi Kizai started out as a construction equipment and material sales company under the Takenaka Corporation umbrella in 1947. Following an equity investment by Mitsubishi Corporation in 1961, and with the support of both firms' networks, Asahi Kizai expanded its business lines to include construction equipment leasing and rental, steel product sales, and construction. Metal One invested in the company in 2003 and participates in its management.

One of the leading general contractors, Takenaka Corporation's history dates back to its origins in shrine and temple carpentry in 1610, and the company distinguishes itself from other firms with its strong insistence on quality, which is a reflection of its view that buildings are works of art. The company has been involved with numerous structures that have become symbols of their eras-Tokyo Tower, the Nippon Budokan, and, more recently, Tokyo Midtown-and is currently handling the construction of such major projects as the Marunouchi Park Building, which is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Along with leasing and renting materials and equipment, such as scaffolding, for the many projects that Takenaka oversees, Asahi Kizai has developed a broad spectrum of business operations, including sales of reinforcing round bars, steel pipe piles, and other steel products as well as construction project management. The company has 15 branches and maintenance centers nationwide as well as a subsidiary (Asahi Built Co., Ltd.) that handles miscellaneous utility equipment.

Shunichi Imamiya, appointed president in March of last year, offers his observations on a unique corporate culture that has matured over the company's long history, "You might say that the equipment leasing and rental industry works in the background or that we are a 'venous industry' because we're inconspicuous, but we take pride in doing good, flesh-and-blood work. Takenaka Corporation's corporate philosophy-contributing to society by bequeathing works of excellence to the world-also has something in common with the corporate philosophies of Metal One and Mitsubishi Corporation."

Asahi Kizai has continued to perform favorably, being sustained by flourishing construction demand over the past several years in metropolitan areas. Imamiya notes, "We achieved the earnings targets outlined in the three-year medium-term management plan that concludes in FY2007 a year in advance. Takenaka's schedule is booked nearly solid until around 2009, and in our next medium-term plan, we will be setting a target of 45 billion in sales by 2010." To achieve that goal, the company will start leasing small cranes and other construction equipment and is planning to actively devote resources to projects aimed at refurbishing buildings. It also plans to increase the number of its national government-certified grade one project management engineers from the current 39 to 70 over the next three years in an effort to enhance its technical capabilities. Last May, the company relocated its headquarters from two separate sites in Tokyo's Nihonbashi and Kyobashi districts to Olinas Tower, a high-rise complex near Kinshicho Station. This move increased Asahi Kizai's mobility by concentrating its headquarters functions in an up-to-date office building.

Indicating an intent to employ the Group's combined strengths to the maximum, Imamiya says, "In order to expand our sales network beyond Takenaka Corporation, we want to work closely with Metal One Structural Steel & Resource Corporation and others-including Metal One and Mitsubishi, of course-by exchanging project-related information and link that to orders."

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