Government-owned Deposit Insurance Corp of Japan (DICJ) is planning to vote against Shinsei Bank’s poison pill defence aimed at blocking SBI Holdings Inc’s $1.1 billion bid, public broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.
How the government votes on the defence strategy at a shareholders meeting this week has been in focus as proxy advisory firms have sided with Shinsei, possibly swaying the vote of foreign investors who account for nearly 30% of registered shareholders.
The government and SBI each own about 20% of Shinsei. DICJ could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sources – both for and against Shinsei’s strategy – have said a government vote against the poison pill would almost certainly defeat Shinsei’s plan, with some hedge fund investors in favour of SBI’s bid.
The Nikkei business daily said City Index Eleventh, a fund backed by activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami that holds about a 4% voting stake, would not vote in favour of Shinsei’s plan. City Index Eleventh could not immediately be reached for comment.
Online financial group SBI announced an offer to take a near-majority stake in the mid-sized Tokyo-based lender in September – an unsolicited bid that met immediate opposition from Shinsei’s management.
Proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS), meanwhile, have recommended shareholders vote for the lender’s plan, with the latter saying SBI’s partial offer would leave shareholders unable to tender. Recommendations from the two typically impact how foreign investors vote.
The SBI-Shinsei battle comes at a time Japan is witnessing a rise in hostile takeovers. But investors are also watching to see if, under a new prime minister, it will roll back some pro-market policies.
Shinsei Bank is due to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting on Thursday to put the poison pill defence to a vote.