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No. 359, August 1999

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American Companies in Japan


CONSTRUCTION AND REAL ESTATE

In other sign that knowledgeable investors believe that commercial property prices are nearing the end of their long and steep fall or already have hit bottom, STARWOOD CAPITAL GROUP — a Greenwich, Connecticut investment management firm that invests in real estate assets on behalf of institutional investors and wealthy individuals — formed a joint venture with NOMURA REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT CO., LTD. to buy midsize Tokyo office buildings. The new partners already have acquired three office buildings with a combined value of more than $65 million through a special- purpose vehicle set up to channel all their investments. In addition to the money that Starwood Capital and Nomura Real Estate Development put up themselves, the venture will have access to nonrecourse financing from GMAC COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE CORP. and NIKKO SALOMON SMITH BARNEY LTD. Industry sources say that the total invested could hit $250 million.

The third AMC ENTERTAINMENT INC. megaplex movie theater has opened. The 18- screen AMC Holiday Square 18, located in Toyohashi, Aichi prefecture, is the Kansas City, Missouri company's largest facility in Japan. Two more megaplexes — the AMC Shinsei 16 in Gifu prefecture and the AMC Maihama 16 at Tokyo Disneyland in Chiba prefecture — are scheduled to open in the spring of 2000 (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 350, November 1998, p. 16).

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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