Seibu Holdings Inc. President Takashi Goto said he won’t offer “any concessions” to Cerberus Capital Management LP, the hotel and rail operator’s biggest shareholder, in a dispute over the investor’s proposals.
The private equity firm’s “proposals will hurt Seibu Group’s mid- and long-term strategy,” Goto said in Tokyo yesterday. He didn’t elaborate on his objections to Cerberus’s recommendations that Seibu add executives to its board before a planned initial share sale.
Cerberus on April 5 offered to triple the amount of stock it sought to buy in a tender aimed at gaining control of the closely held rail and hotel company. It also recommended executives including former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle and former U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow be appointed to Tokyo- based Seibu’s board.
“We are definitely against the Cerberus proposals,” Goto said. “We are not considering making any concession to Cerberus.”
Cerberus doesn’t aim to control the Seibu board’s decision making, the investor said today in a statement. The private equity firm reiterated that it won’t propose the sale of Seibu’s professional baseball team, according to the statement.
The fund also has doubts about the valuations of some Seibu securities holdings and assets in Hawaii, it said in the statement.
“Our financial statements have been compiled according to standard accounting practices,” said Shuhei Akasaka, a Seibu spokesman said in an emailed response. “All of our financial activities have been undertaken fairly and properly.”
Seibu has said it opposes the tender offer and is “financially prepared” for relisting. The two companies haven’t held any direct talks since March 11, according to Goto.
Cerberus led a bailout of Seibu with Nikko Principal Investments Japan Ltd. in 2005. Seibu Railway Co., the current company’s predecessor, was delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange in 2004 after breaking exchange rules on stake ownership. Goto was sent by Mizuho Corporate Bank, Seibu’s main creditor, and took the helm of Seibu in 2005.
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