Shareholders in Sapporo Holdings have approved the Japanese company's anti-takeover measures, according to local reports.

Japan's Kyodo news agency said today (29 March) that investors at a Sapporo AGM had given the green light to the plans, designed to protect the company from a hostile takeover.

Sapporo shareholders had faced calls to reject the proposals from US private equity group Steel Partners, which owns over 17% of Sapporo and has intimated that it wants to increase its stake.

According to the report, Steel Partners said the measures would not be in the interests of shareholders as they would give to much power to Sapporo's management.

However, Sapporo president Takao Murakami said the plans would benefit the beer and soft drinks producer. "With the approval, we renewed our resolve to raise our corporate value," Murakami was quoted as saying.

The report said that Murakami had also insisted that Sapporo's management had not received any response from Steel Partners when it asked the hedge fund to explain why it wanted to increase its stake in the company.