Itochu Bids to Boost Descente Stake for Management Renewal

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--Major trader Itochu Corp. <8001> on Thursday announced the launch the same day of a tender offer to buy more shares in sportswear maker Descente Ltd. <8114>, with a view to demanding a renewal of the management team of the target firm.

In the tender offer, which will run through March 14, Itochu aims to raise its Descente stake from the current 30.44 pct to 40 pct by purchasing 7.21 million shares for 2,800 yen apiece, for a total of 20,188 million yen, through an investment subsidiary.

Descente is expected to remain listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The move comes as Itochu, already Descente's top shareholder, is at odds with its current management led by President Masatoshi Ishimoto, a member of its founding family, including over a management policy.

In a statement released later on Thursday, Descente criticized Itochu for unilaterally making the announcement, without having prior consultations.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press