Japan’s Murakami makes hostile takeover bid for ex-Toshiba unit

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind a traffic signal at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

A fund backed by Japan’s most prominent activist investor said it will launch on Tuesday an up to $235 million takeover bid for Toshiba Machine Co Ltd, even though the former Toshiba Corp unit has threatened to implement defense measures.

Hostile bids are rare in Japan but have been increasing as the government promotes corporate governance reform to make management more accountable to investors.

City Index Eleventh Co, backed by veteran activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami, said it would offer 3,456 yen per Toshiba Machine share to buy up to 43.82% of the molding machine maker, spending up to 25.9 billion yen ($235 million).

The offer price represents an 11% premium over Toshiba Machine’s close on Friday, when the company revealed the Murakami fund group’s buyout plans. The shares plunged 9% on Tuesday after shooting up 19% on Monday.

Toshiba Machine late on Friday said it could adopt poison-pill measures to fend off acquisition attempts by diluting the holdings of unwanted suitors.

It added that the planned takeover bid could potentially hurt the maximization of its corporate value and shareholders’ interests.

A Toshiba Machine spokesman said on Tuesday the firm is examining the tender offer.

City Index Eleventh in a statement said poison pill measures would buck corporate governance progress in Japan and have a significantly negative impact on market participants.

Murakami-related funds currently hold a combined 11.49% of Toshiba Machine’s total voting rights.

A former bureaucrat, Murakami famously led a fund targeting Japanese companies and pushing for greater shareholder returns until he was convicted of insider trading in 2007. He has since resurfaced as an investor, working with his daughter.

Toshiba Corp holds less than 3% of Toshiba Machine, having sold the bulk of its stake during a management crisis in 2017.

Reuters 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.