CLSA’s Sunrise Capital buys Japanese wedding service providers Dears Brain, Planet Work

Picture from CLSA's LinkedIn

CLSA Capital Partners, the asset management business of CLSA, has reached an agreement to acquire Japanese wedding service providers Dears Brain and Planet Work, according to the company’s announcement.

The acquisition will be made through a special purpose vehicle Dears Brain Holding (Dears Brain HD), supported by SENSHUKAI Co., Ltd, the parent company of the two targets.

CLSA Capital Partners conducted the investment through Sunrise Capital IV, the fund that targets investments in established, mid-cap companies with strong growth potential in Japan.

SENSHUKAI will subsequently acquire a 5% stake in Dears Brain HD and will continue its business alliance with the two companies.

Following the transaction, Dears Brain and Planet Work’s President and CEO Hirokazu Kogishi will continue his role. There will be no material changes to both Dears Brain and Planet Work’s management and business operations.

The two wedding services providers manage 25 wedding venues nationwide as of March 2021 and have held wedding ceremonies and banquets for over 5,100 couples in 2020.

After the acquisition, Sunrise IV together with the companies’ management intends to pursue and execute growth strategies for the Dears Brain HD Group as the leader in industry-wide consolidation. Some of these initiatives include IT function enhancement, optimisation of administrative and corporate planning as well as Asia expansion. Dears Brain HD also plans to further collaborate with SENSHUKAI’s core mail order business.

“The bridal industry as a whole suffered tremendously from last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Megumi Kiyozuka, President and Representative Director of CLSA Capital Partners (Japan).

Established in May 2004, Dears Brain manages “guest house” type weddings and has opened new locations mainly in various mid-sized regional cities. Dears Brain joined the SENSHUKAI Group in May 2008 and currently operates 23 wedding venues and three restaurants across Japan.

Meanwhile,  Planet Work currently operates two wedding venues and an Italian restaurant named “CANOVIANO ANNEX” in Osaka prefecture. Planet Work joined the SENSHUKAI Group in April 2015.

Sunrise Capital, with approximately $1.5 billion under management, has completed investments in approximately 30 companies, both standalone and follow-on investments.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.