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Karl Pires advises clients on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, with an emphasis on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and reorganizations. His practice involves both representing Japanese companies in implementing strategic acquisitions or launching other outbound business ventures in various countries around the world as well as assisting global companies based outside Japan with inbound investments into Japan via either the formation of new branches or subsidiaries or through targeted acquisitions or partnerships. He has significant experience counseling clients through all the typical stages of cross-border transactions, including structuring investments, executing due diligence investigations, negotiating transaction documents, navigating applicable regulatory frameworks, addressing corporate governance issues, managing labor and employment matters and planning post-acquisition integration and operations.
Prior to joining the White & Case Tokyo office in April 2008, Mr. Pires practiced for more than seven years at the Vancouver office of a leading national law firm in Canada, where he assisted both domestic and international companies with their business investments, transactions and operations in Canada. Mr. Pires also previously worked at a prominent Japanese international law firm in Tokyo and the leading Philippine international law firm SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan in Manila.
Mr. Pires has been an active member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) since 2008 and was elected as a Governor of the CCCJ in June 2013.
In addition to his native English, Mr. Pires speaks and reads Japanese fluently and thus, along with all the other members of White & Case's M&A team in Tokyo, is capable of providing full bilingual advice in both English and Japanese on all aspects of his practice.
Represented Osaka Gas, one of the largest natural gas suppliers and a major energy services provider in Japan, in its acquisition from Marubeni Corporation of a 25 percent equity interest CPV Maryland LLC, a project company constructing the US$775 million CPV St. Charles Energy Center, which is a state-of-the-art 725-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant, located in Maryland.
Represented Panasonic Corporation in the acquisition of a 51% share of Canada-based Quick Service Software Inc., a leading back office software provider in the North American quick service restaurant industry, commanding an approximately 60% share in the Canadian market.
Represented Osaka Gas Chemicals in its US$400 million acquisition of Jacobi Carbons AB, a global activated carbon manufacturer based in Sweden.
Represented Nippon Paint in its investment in German automotive paint manufacturer Bollig & Kemper.
Represented Japanese industrial manufacturer IHI Corporation in its acquisition from Barclays and Credit Suisse of all shares of the Swiss-based Ionbond group, an industrial coatings company.
Represented Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Corp. in the establishment of Clean Energy Asia LLC, a joint venture between SoftBank's renewable energy arm SB Energy Corp. and Mongolian investment company Newcom LLC that plans to develop wind power projects in the Gobi desert in Mongolia.
Represented Toshiba Corporation in connection with its acquisition of certain 3.5 inch HDD manufacturing equipment in China and Malaysia and related intellectual property from Western Digital Corporation. The transaction was a result of the highly publicized forced divestiture by Western Digital of the 3.5 inch HDD business it acquired as part of its US$4.8 billion acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies from Hitachi to meet conditions imposed by antitrust authorities in the EU, United States, China, Korea and Japan.