January 24, 2020 / 8:36 AM / a month ago

Japan's Maeda Road Construction opposes takeover bid by Maeda Corp

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese road paving company Maeda Road Construction (1883.T) said on Friday it would oppose a tender offer by its top shareholder Maeda Corp (1824.T), turning the proposal into a hostile bid.

Construction firm Maeda Corp launched the bid to gain a controlling stake on Tuesday in a deal potentially worth 86 billion yen ($784 million). Yet Maeda Road wants to cancel a capital alliance with Maeda Corp, which owns 24.68% of its shares, and buy back all of its stock.

“We are opposed to the tender offer by Maeda Corp,” Maeda Road said in a statement. “Becoming a consolidated subsidiary of Maeda Corp would hurt our corporate value and prevent our sustainable growth.”

Maeda Road said it would take necessary measures as soon as possible, without elaborating.

Maeda Corp’s bid has become the latest hostile deal in Japan where unsolicited bids are still rare but are becoming more accepted as shareholders became more vocal about getting higher returns and as the domestic market shrinks.

This week activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami launched a bid for a controlling stake in Toshiba Machine Co (6104.T) despite a threat by the company to implement defense measures against it.

Maeda Corp has offered to pay 3,950 yen per Maeda Road share, which closed at 3,650 yen on Friday.

It wants to increase its stake in Maeda Road to 51% through the public tender offer, citing the need to strengthen collaboration to better respond to labor shortages and aging infrastructure.

The tender offer runs until March 4.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Jan Harvey and Jason Neely

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