July 27, 2018 / 11:03 AM / in 3 months

Hedge fund Elliott again raises stake in Japan's Alpine

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management has raised its stake in Alpine Electronics Inc (6816.T) to 7.33 percent, a regulatory filing showed on Friday, the second increase since its ownership was first revealed this month.

Elliott has been gradually increasing its stake in car navigation maker Alpine, as Hong Kong-based activist fund Oasis Management attempts to block the sale of Alpine to larger affiliate Alps Electric Co (6770.T) at a price Oasis believes is low.

Elliott initially made a filing on the ownership of a 5.12 percent stake, with an intention to make “significant proposals” to Alpine earlier this month and increased the stake to 6.3 percent by last week. Elliott and Oasis control a combined some 17 percent, adding further pressure on Alpine Management to reward minority shareholders.

Oasis has struggled to persuade management on the issue, and its proposals to increase dividend and appoint independent board members were rejected at an annual shareholders meeting in June.

Alpine is scheduled to hold an extra shareholders meeting by the end of this year to vote for the merger, which is scheduled on Jan. 1.

Alpine management needs support from more than two-thirds of shareholders to complete the merger.

On Friday Alps and Alpine said in a joint statement they have agreed to jointly develop products, share technology and production facilities ahead of the merger, following the approval of the merger by anti-trust authorities in Japan and overseas.

It was still unclear whether Elliott’s objective was aligned with that of Oasis.

Spokesman for Elliott and Alpine declined to comment. Oasis officials were not immediately available for comments.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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