Amana IPO

Posted on 8/16/2004 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



August 16, 2004

In July, amana (parent company of Photonica), and the largest photography company in Japan, floated an IPO on the Tokyo "Mothers" market for a minority percentage of the company stock. This is normal practice for a Japanese IPO, where the objective is less about raising huge amounts of cash at first, and more about progressively enhancing the status of the company. Over the years, a successful public company will traverse a step-by-step process of status enhancement through the different stages of the market. Along the way, access to better funding becomes available to the company, and more of the company stock is floated incrementally. The amana group is made up of the parent company, amana Inc., and a plethora of subsidiaries in Japan and the West.

The company has 1,216,200 shares outstanding and 485,000 shares of stock were offered at JPY 23,000 per share in this sale. This means that they raised something in the range of $100 million US for about 38.88% of the company that is now in public hands. The shares are currently being traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange "Mothers" market at about JPY 41,850 (price as on 13th July 2004). By multiplying this current share price by the total number of shares we get a value for the company of about JPY 50,897,970,000 which is around $460 million at an exchange rate of 110 yen to the dollar.

The consolidated revenue for the two previous years is as follows:


Japanese Yen   

Approx. US $   







About half of amana's revenue in 2002 was generated from a visual content production business (assignments) for Japanese advertising customers. amana provides a whole range of solution services, and not only shoots the photographs, but also carries out art direction, all support activities and extensive post production digital work and computer graphics. It's a true full service business where amana can create almost any visual depiction a client can imagine.

The amana digital division often sits in the driving seat in creating ads and in certain cases, images are created on screen with art-direction taking place there and either stock or assigned shoots brought in as components. While all these services might be considered part of a "photographic budget" in Western terms, the degree of creative freedom available to the client in getting anything they can imagine [and indeed plenty beyond their imagination] all under one roof, doesn't exist here in the West. This division averages around 550 orders per month and based on 2003 revenue that would mean that the average sales is worth about $4,400 but some have gone as high as JPY 7 million which is over $60,000.

It is important to understand this distinction because this portion of the amana revenue is not comparable with stock agency revenue anywhere else in the world.
The breakdown between stock and visual solutions [i.e. assignment] is as follows:


Japanese Yen   

Approx. US $   

2002 Assignment   



2002 Stock   






2003 Assignment   



2003 Stock   



In 2003 the total revenue from "visual solutions" was up about 16% while the stock revenue was down just slightly. The company believes they are well positioned to leverage their high-end computer graphics strength as the advertising industry moves more in that direction.

The geographic breakdown of their revenue in 2002 and 2003 is as follows. Keep in mind that all of the visual solutions revenue was in Japan so the difference between the Japan figures below and the Assignment figures above would represent the amount of stock revenue in Japan.

The breakdown geographically is as follows:


Japanese Yen   

Approx. US $   

2002 Japan   



2002 N. Amer.   



2002 Europe   






2003 Japan



2003 N. Amer.



2003 Europe



The first figures below show consolidated ordinary profit which is more or less net profit before tax. The second set of figures are consolidated net profit which is the after tax figure.


Japanese Yen

Approx. US $

2002 Ordinary Profit



2003 Ordinary Profit






2002 Net Profit



2003 Net Profit



The amana group consists of 9 consolidated subsidiaries and 2 further companies in which it holds a part equity stake.

About 39% of amana's sales are to Advertising Agencies and 34% to production companies. Among their larger end user are: Electronic and computer companies - 15.5%; Food and Restaurants - 12.4% and Cosmetic companies - 10.4%.

The principal stock holders are Hironobu Shindo who holds 23.5% of the stock and Life Information Institute that holds 23.4%.

Copyright © 2004 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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