Guest Speaker: Mr. Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO of HOYA
Mr. Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO of HOYA Corporation was the guest speaker at Professor Tomonori Ito's Applied Corporate Finance class on July 10th during which students had a one-hour discussion on the HOYA/Pentax M&A deal in 2007 using the Harvard Business School case "HOYA Corporation (A)". Discussion among students on whether they would have done a hostile takeover, or what transaction structure would have been ideal to HOYA had already been stimulating, but with the arrival of Mr. Suzuki, the CEO when the actual transaction took place, the discussion got even more real and entertaining.
Mr. Suzuki was very generous not only with his valuable time, but also in sharing details during the Q&A session following the case discussion that provided an in-depth look at the background to the M&A transaction and the thoughts that occupied his mind as he was going through the highly publicized deal. The whole class was taken behind the scenes of not only the structuring of a successful M&A, but more importantly the difficult art of managing board members, shareholders (both active and passive), employees and even media throughout the process. One of the clear lessons of this case is that as managers, no matter how much preparation and strategizing you put into a deal, in the end it is your job to weigh and decide the right thing to do, especially if things are not transpiring according to plan. The success of HOYA in large part is due to Mr. Suzuki's ability to do exactly that.
It was truly a privilege to have heard Mr. Suzuki's exciting and frank stories, and a lot was learned that day - not just about Finance, but also management, corporate governance, and human resource management.