Nidec: Making Today Great and Tomorrow Better

Standing under the New York Stock Exchange bell podium in the morning of September 27, 2001, one could hear faint applause growing louder with each passing second. A contingent of about 17, including New York Firefighters and Police Officers, the NYSE Chairman, and one company Chief Executive Officer, had stepped onto the Trading Floor, the crowd parting to form a pathway as the group made its way to the podium.

The firefighters and police officers were 9/11 rescue workers. The company CEO was Mr. Shigenobu Nagamori, Founder of Nidec Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of brushless DC motors. The Exchange had invited him to join the workers on the podium in recognition of his decision to move forward with Nidec’s listing that morning, as the saying goes: “come hell or high water.”

Not one to waver, Mr. Nagamori had led an 18-member Nidec team aboard a near empty US-bound Japan Airlines jumbo jet to attend the listing ceremony and hand deliver Nidec’s $100,000 donation and letter to the NYSE Fallen Heroes Fund.

Fast forward to today:  Nidec commands approximately 80% of global market share in Hard Disk Drive motors, and is quickly expanding its presence in areas such as automobile, industrial, and appliances motors.

Nidec recently held an early celebration of its 10th Year Anniversary of listing on the NYSE, with Mr. Nagamori ringing the Closing Bell. Welcomed by top executives of NYSE, he hosted a reception in the Board Room for almost 100 key supporters of Nidec's business and listing over the years.

During his reception speech, Mr. Nagamori graciously credited the NYSE listing and its strict accounting requirements, for much of Nidec’s long-term success. The fact is that since listing, Nidec has executed upon an aggressive global M&A strategy, including a recent acquisition of Emerson Electric’s motor and controls unit. During this time, Its market capitalization has leaped over 6X, from approximately $2.2 billion to around $14.0 billion. (and made Mr. Nagamori a billionaire on the Forbes list)

Nidec’s headquarters are in Kyoto, far from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. However, Nidec has plants, technical center, and sales offices operating in the afflicted areas. Fortunately there were no casualties and the plants and offices resumed operations that same month. Nidec has contributed approximately $1.2 million to the relief and recovery efforts.

Mr. Nagamori is considered one of Japan’s most outspoken and unconventional entrepreneurs. From the outset, he challenged traditional Japanese business practices, adopting an aggressive, independent strategy attuned to the global marketplace. His book, “The Challenging Road; Nidec Policy & Nagamorism,” with chapters such as:  All Except Number 1 to be Last Place; To be Ahead of Others Even by One Step;  Not to Become a Mediocre or Normal Company; Small is Beautiful is Not Attractive to Me; and Tomorrow Will be a Better Day - says it all.

NYSE Euronext lists 19 companies from Japan, with a combined market capitalization of almost $800 billion (as of 7/22), and individual company valuations ranging from $3 billion to $131 billion. Since April 11 (one month after the March 11th earthquake) through July 22nd, 16 of the 19 companies have seen an increase in ADR price, with the median increase being almost 10%.
Japanese companies listed on NYSE Euronext