11 Maret 2008
Steel Partners in new bid for Japan's Sapporo

Agence France-Presse/Tokyo U.S. investment fund Steel Partners on Monday unveiled a revised takeover offer for Sapporo Holdings that would limit its stake to onethird, after the Japanese brewer rebutted its original bid.

Steel Partners.also raised its pershare offer and requesting talks with the Sapporo management over the new bid to take a 33.3 percent stake in Japan's thirdranked brewer, the fund said in a statement.

The fund is now offering 875 yen per Sapporo share, about six percent more than its previous offer, which had aimed to take a 66.6 percent stake.

Steel Partners said it was ready to hike its offer if Sapporo provides it with documentation to show the shares are worth more.

"We believe our revised proposal evidences our continued confidence in the company's prospects as well as our ability to respond constructively," Steel Partners head Warren Lichtenstein said in the statement.
Sapporo declined to comment on the new proposal.

"We are still examining the content (of the letter) and are not in a position to make comment now," a company spokeswoman said.

Sapporo shares closed up 19 yen or 2.46 percent at 792 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, bucking a weaker overall market.

The company last month rejected an earlier buyout bid by Steel Partners after a yearlong takeover tussle, saying it would be bad for shareholders.

The rebuff was the latest in a string of setbacks for the U.S. fund in Japan, where many companies remain highly suspicious of foreign private equity firms.

Steel Partners was at the centre of a highprofile takeover tussle last year for Japan's Bull-Dog Sauce, which set off a legal battle that went all the way to the country's top court.

The Japanese iconic sauce maker became the first Japanese company to carry out threats of a 'poison pill' defense, a tactic to block takeover bids by issuing new shares to dilute the stake of a bidder.

Steel Partners wanted to avoid the kind of 'unnecessary damage' inflicted on his fund and other investors when Bull-Dog implemented the poison pill, which caused a 45 percent drop in shareholder value, Lichtenstein said.

Source :  Investor Daily Indonesia, Page : P4 

 Dilihat : 18269 kali