JAPAN: Sapporo investors urged to reject takeover defence
US private equity firm Steel Partners is lobbying Sapporo Holdings shareholders to reject a proposed 'advance warning system' against potential takeover bids for the Japanese company.
The US company today (12 March) started a campaign recommending shareholders vote against the proposal, which requires any company hoping to acquire 20% or more of the voting rights in Sapporo 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.
Shareholders are set to vote on the proposal, which was approved by Sapporo's directors last month, at the annual general meeting on 29 March.
"The company's (Sapporo's) proposed new advance warning system is not in the best interests of the stakeholders of the company as a whole," Steel Partners said. "This advance warning system would adversely affect shareholder value and insulate the company's board from the fundamental accountability to shareholders by providing the board with enhanced ability to delay or prevent takeover bids or tender offers, even when shareholders might favourably view such bids."
Shareholders have been asked to reject the motion to approve the new advance warning system "so that shareholders have the chance to decide for themselves whether to accept any offers for their shares in the company".
Last month, Steel Partners proposed a plan to raise its stake in Sapporo from 17.52% to 66.6%, although it also indicated that it may sell its shares should an attractive offer emerge.
Separately, Sapporo today posted a 10% rise in its domestic beer and 'third-category' beer sales for the month of February. The increase, Sapporo's first in ten months, was credited to the roll-out of a new third-category beer last month.
SABMiller is set to make its first foray into the Japanese market....
Japanese brewers Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Orion have shown a second straight month of year-on-year decreases in beer shipments, according to reports....
Steel Partners has warned Sapporo Holdings that its 'advanced warning system' (AWS) is being used in an "inappropriate" manner to ward off attempts by the company to buy the Japanese firm....
Brick Brewing Co. has made itself available to purchase....
Sapporo Holdings posted a net loss for the first quarter, as a result of increased costs on product advertising, but losses at the Japanese brewer have narrowed from the first quarter of 2006....
A survey of the top brewers in Japan has shown total beer and quasi-beer shipments were flat in the first three months of this year....
Shareholders in Sapporo Holdings have approved the Japanese company's anti-takeover measures, according to local reports....
Sapporo Holdings has reportedly repeated its belief that its plan for fresh takeover defence measures will not erode shareholder value....
- A tobacco analogy soft drinks will want to embrace
- just The Preview - SABMiller's Q1
- Pernod's Portman Group penalty - a coincidence?
- Cleaning China's seedier side brings Remy balance
- PepsiCo to consider more re-franchising - CEO
- Diageo's Captain Morgan Facebook ad banned
- Diageo faces public consultation over W&M sale
- William Grant silent on Drambuie bid talk
- Bacardi to fight US football team legal action
- Remy posts Q1 sales drop as Edrington loss bites