Exclusive-Activist fund Oasis backs call for Toshiba to solicit buyout offers -source

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past a Toshiba logo outside an electronics retailer in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past a Toshiba Corp logo outside an electronics retailer in Tokyo, Sept. 14, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 23, 2022

By Scott Murdoch and Makiko Yamazaki

SYDNEY/TOKYO (Reuters) -Hong Kong-based activist fund Oasis Management has voted in favour of a shareholder proposal demanding Toshiba Corp solicit buyout offers from private equity firms, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Oasis also voted against the Japanese industrial conglomerate’s plan to break itself up, said the source, who was not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified.

The upcoming vote at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday marks a pivotal moment in a long-running battle between Toshiba management and its growing number of foreign shareholders. Each proposal needs 50% of the vote to pass.

Singapore-based 3D Investment Partners, Toshiba’s second-largest shareholder, submitted the proposal – a motion that also has the support of its top shareholder Effissimo Capital Management and No. 3 shareholder Farallon Capital Management.

Together, the top three shareholders own around a quarter of Toshiba. All foreign activist funds combined are estimated to hold about 30% while more broadly overseas investors own 50% of the industrial conglomerate.

Oasis, which has not disclosed the size of its stake in Toshiba, declined to comment.

Toshiba said it would continue to make every effort to gain shareholder support for the break-up plan.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee, Jacqueline Wong and Edwina Gibbs)

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