×

Steel Partners Seeks 33% of Sapporo at Higher Price

U.S. fund Steel Partners said on Monday it now wanted only a third of Japan's third-biggest beer maker, Sapporo Holdings, ending its push for a majority stake, and was willing to pay 6 percent more to get there.

The revised terms come after the fund lost a key court case last year when it sought to block anti-takeover moves by Bull-Dog Sauce, one of several firms in Japan it has either targeted or taken on management in some form.

The fund said in a statement it was willing to offer 875 yen per share for a 33.3 percent stake, compared with its February 2007 offer of 825 yen per share for two-thirds of the brewer.

The fund, which owns 19 percent of Sapporo, also said that it is seeking talks with Sapporo's board of directors and may be prepared to raise the offer price.

"(We are) prepared to upwardly adjust the new offer price if the Board provides documentation that reflects additional value," the fund said in a statement.

After the news, shares of Sapporo jumped as much as 7.4 percent before ending the morning session up 1.8 percent at 787 yen.

Sapporo spokesman Katsuhito Ogawa said the brewer had no comment as it was still examining the proposal.

But the firm said it did not plan to activate a poison pill defence immediately since the fund had net yet begun the bid.

Last month, Sapporo said it opposed the takeover proposal by Steel Partners and did not plan to activate a poison pill defence immediately since the fund had not yet formally launched an offer.