Guest Speaker: Ms. Yuki Ikuno, Ex-UBS Securities Japan
On June 20, Professor Tomonori Ito's Applied Corporate Finance class welcomed Ms. Yuki Ikuno, former Managing Director and Head of Leveraged Finance of UBS Securities Japan, as a guest speaker.
The students and Professor Ito had a discussion on the leveraged buyout transaction for Softbank's acquisition of Vodafone K.K. in 2006 based on the case 'Softbank's New Strategy: The Largest LBO in Japan'. They discussed the reasons for Softbank in doing the acquisition via leveraged financing, and the value obtained by the company from the LBO loan. Ms. Ikuno was working at Deutsche Securities Japan and successfully arranged this huge leveraged loan.
Following the case discussion, Ms. Ikuno gave a lecture on leveraged loans to explain the characteristics of companies qualified for an LBO, the salient features as well as advantages and disadvantages of leveraged loans vs. corporate loans, comparison of bond and loan, and the differences between the bond and loan markets in Japan and in US. She related this to the general investing appetite of Japanese retail investors. She also took questions from the students, which included the factors that must be considered to ensure success of an LBO. Ms. Ikuno shared many experience-based insights which gave the students a deeper understanding of the different debt financing tools.