JAPAN: Sapporo bounces buyout questions back to Steel Partners

By | 22 November 2007

Sapporo Holdings has requested further information from Steel Partners for the third time, regarding the US private equity group's attempts to up its stake in the Japanese company.

Sapporo yesterday (21 November) asked Steel, which is looking to raise its holding in Sapporo from the current 17.5% to 66.6%, to clarify two points. Firstly, that Steel, which issued a business proposal for Sapporo earlier this month, has not designed the proposals for the condition that it takes control of the company, and secondly, that Steel's position on the buyout attempt has not changed since February.

The Japanese brewer and soft drinks producer has asked for the details to be submitted by 7 December.

Steel's latest proposals recommended that Sapporo review its soft drink and restaurant operations, and concentrate more on its core alcohol and real estate operations.

In September, Sapporo refused to provide Steel with details, including sales and profits for each of its beer brands, that were not already in the public domain.

Earlier this year, Sapporo's shareholders approved an advanced warning system (AWS), designed to protect the company from a hostile takeover. The AWS allows the Japanese company to ask questions of any organisation which is trying to markedly up its holding in Sapporo.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Sapporo

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