Shareholder Vote Prevents Steel Partners from Removing Sapporo Directors

April 3rd, 2010
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Hedge fund Steel Partners lost a shareholder vote for the removal of directors from Sapporo Holdings Ltd, a Tokyo-based Yebisu brewer, after about 70% voted for the candidates chosen by Sapporo instead of Steel Partners. According to a recent Bloomberg article, this prevents Steel Partners from trying to forcibly implement changes to boost sales and market share such as lowering production capacity and renovating property. Most of the fund’s attempts to impose changes have been prevented by companies adopting poison pills and friendly tie-ups.

According to Steel Partners manager U.S. investor Warren Lichtenstein, the lack of support for the fund’s candidates indicates that Sapporo urgently needs change and the fund will do whatever it takes for Sapporo’s success. This March, Steel Partners conducted seven investor meetings in Japan, asserting that new directors were necessary for Sapporo’s recovery.

Steel Partners Strategic Fund (Offshore) LP started investing in Sapporo in 2004 and has withdrawn investments from over a dozen Japanese companies since 2008.
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For Detailed Investor Profiles on these Investors, click below:
Steel Partners
Related People: Joshua Schechter; Lawrence Butler; Warren G. Lichtenstein
Related Entities: Steel Partners; Steel Partners II Master Fund LP; Steel Partners Japan Strategic Fund; Steel Partners LLC; WebFinancial LP
Related Article Tags: Shareholder Activists, Corporate Raiders and Proxy Battles

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