Descente Seen Facing Uphill Battle against Bid by Itochu

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--The confrontation between the management of sportswear maker Descente Ltd. <8114> and its top shareholder, major trader Itochu Corp. <8001>, has developed into a hostile tender offer.

Through the tender offer, Itochu plans to increase its equity stake in Descente from 30.44 pct to 40 pct, aiming to revamp the management of the target company.

Descente has expressed its opposition to the bid, but the firm is expected to face a tough battle against Itochu. The tender offer is scheduled to run until March 14.

Descente ran into financial difficulties in 1984, saddled with massive inventories, and faced a problem again, in 1998, when its licensing contract with multinational sporting goods maker Adidas expired.

The company overcame the two crises, thanks to assistance from Itochu.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press