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Goodwill chairman resigns, investors buy loans

March 11 2008

Chairman of the Goodwill Group, a Tokyo-based company that provides staffing and other services, stepped down, the company announced. Chairman Masahiro Origuchi will now serve as adviser to GW Premier America Inc., the company's U.S. staffing operations. Goodwill also announced that U.S. investment fund Cerberus Group and an affiliate of Morgan Stanley acquired loan receivables against the company from Mizuho Bank Ltd. Bloomberg reported that Cerberus and Morgan Stanley will convert a portion of the loans to shares and become the second-largest shareholders of Goodwill.

Representative director Shinichiro Kawakami also stepped down. He is being replaced by Shinichi Horii, who had served as an outside director at the company since September 2007.

The moves come after some turbulence.

Goodwill announced that operations at 89 of its Japanese office would be suspended for four months this year and operations at the rest of its 737 offices would be suspended for two months because of government sanctions over illegal referrals of workers. In addition, the company said it plans to consolidate its 737 offices into 400.

The company also closed its nursing home operations in Japan last year following a government investigation.

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