Itochu's Hostile Bid for Descente Ends in Success

Economy

Tokyo, March 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. <8001> said Friday it has successfully completed its hostile tender offer for sports goods maker Descente Ltd. <8114>.

According to mergers and acquisitions advisory firm Recof Corp., this was the first successful end to a hostile bid by a major company for another major firm in the country.

The successful bid, made through a wholly owned subsidiary, will push up Itochu's voting rights in Descente from 30.44 pct to 40.00 pct. With the rights topping one-third of the total, the major trading firm can exercise veto power to proposals on important management matters.

Aiming to gain a bigger say in the management of Descente, Itochu launched the tender offer on Jan. 31 without prior consultation. Specifically, it intends to reshuffle Descente's management team.

Opposed by not only Descente's board of directors but labor union, the bid developed into a hostile one. Itochu and Descente held talks to settle their dispute over the management of the sports gear maker, but failed to strike a deal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press