RHJ International has historically invested heavily in Japan and also focused on the automotive parts sector. It has expressed an interest to diversify geographically, particularly in Europe.
Its strategy is generally to buy businesses that are "under-managed" but that possess strong growth potential. So its businesses are in various stages of improvement and expansion.
RHJI CEO Leonhard Fischer joined the group from Credit Suisse in 2007. Fischer, 45, is well-versed in German politics, something that could give him an edge in discussing government subsidies for Opel.
RHJI was founded in June 2004 by Timothy Collins, who also founded U.S. private equity group Ripplewood in 1995.
Collins, 51, is RHJI's largest shareholder with 15.2 percent of the stock. He is also the chairman of its investment and strategy committee.
RHJI subsidiaries are:
Asahi Tec Corp. (60.18 percent stake) - Japanese cast auto parts maker
Niles Co. Ltd. (95.3 percent) - Automotive switch manufacturer
Honsel International Technologies SA (81.8 percent) - German cast auto parts maker
Columbia Music Entertainment Inc. (25.5 percent) - Japanese music entertainment group
Phoenix Seagaia Resort (100 percent) - Japanese resort complex
RHJI is based in Brussels and was floated on Euronext Brussels in March 2005.
The company planned to establish its headquarters in Japan, but opted in the end for Belgium, where a number of holding companies are based due to favorable tax treatment.
RHJI employs about 40 people, principally in Brussels, Zurich and Tokyo.