The largest shareholder in Sapporo Holdings has taken issue with the Japanese group's plans to avoid a hostile takeover, according to local reports.

Kyodo News said yesterday (1 February) that US-based Steel Partners Japan Strategic Fund (Offshore) has asked Sapporo to abandon the package of measures. Steel Partners, which holds a 17.5% stake in the company, voiced its concerns earlier this week.

Sapporo's package, approved by directors in February last year, requires any company hoping to acquire 20% or more of voting rights to submit a report detailing the purpose of the bid. Failure to do so would allow Sapporo to issue new shares to make the bid less attractive.

The news service cited informed sources, who claimed that Steel Partners objects to the package and wants Sapporo's board to gain shareholder approval first.