Steel Partners Abandons Larger Sapporo Stake

February 17th, 2009
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Warren Lichtenstein’s Steel Partners said that it will abandon its attempt to increase its stake in beer maker Sapporo Holdings Ltd to 33%. Steel Partners Japan Strategic Fund (SPJSF), which currently holds an 18.6% stake in Sapporo, cited worsening financial performance at the company as well as its management’s unwillingness to negotiate.

In response, Sapporo Board’s released a statement that stated “In this way, we cannot deny the possibility that, after gaining the management control rights of the Company, SPJSF will, without considering the extensive know-how, abundant experience and the relationships established with the stakeholders including domestic and foreign customers and employees, business partners, etc., which are indispensable for the management of the Company and without revealing its concrete management philosophy or management plan, conduct a form of management that exclusively pursues profits only for itself. We can only say that there is a high danger that the relationships of trust with customers, the Company’s brand value and the vitality of its employees, all of which are the foundation of the corporate value of the Company could be lost and the corporate value destroyed."

"From the above, the Board assesses that if SPJSF carries out the purchase stated in the Purchase Suggestion then that purchase will destroy the corporate value of the Company and the interests of the Company’s shareholders as a whole will be seriously undermined. Consequently, the Board opposes the Purchase Suggestion.”
See Press Release
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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