Elliott again ups stake in Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai after KKR raises offer price

A shopper rides an escalator past a logo of Hitachi Corp at an electronics retail store in Tokyo February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management Corp has raised its stake in Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric to 8.59 percent from 7.11 percent, a regulatory filing showed, one of several such hikes since it first disclosed a stake in the firm last month.

The filing comes after KKR & Co LP increased its offer price for the Hitachi Ltd unit to 2,900 yen ($25.80) a share from 2,503 yen, improving the bid after a third-party committee reporting to Hitachi Kokusai said it did not support the initial terms.

Elliott, known for buying stakes in firms in the middle of takeovers and seeking better deals for shareholders, had last raised its stake in Hitachi Kokusai to 7.11 percent in September. It has become Hitachi Kokusai’s No.2 shareholder after Hitachi Ltd, which has a little over 50 percent.

Since Elliott’s first disclosure of its stakeholding on Sept. 11, Hitachi Kokusai’s share price has risen 5 percent and is now trading 21 percent above KKR’s original offer.

Shares in Hitachi Kokusai fell 2.4 percent to 3,040 yen on Thursday, versus a 0.5 percent gain in the wider market.

Elliott has said the purpose of owning Hitachi Kokusai shares was “investment”, but it has also noted it would “discuss matters such as important proposals depending on situations”.

Hitachi Kokusai on Wednesday raised its full-year profit forecast by nearly 40 percent as the chip-making equipment maker is seeing strong capital investment by client semiconductor manufacturers.

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