Nikko Cordial: Second Major Shareholder Rejects Citigroup Bid

 |  Includes: C, NIKOY
by: John Bethel

Count Southeastern Asset Management with those believing Citigroup's (NYSE:C) bid for Nikko Cordial (OTC:NIKOY) is too low:

Southeastern Asset Management Inc., whose 6.6 percent stake is the third largest, today said the shares are worth at least 2,000 yen ($17) apiece, compared with Citigroup's 1,350 yen offer. Harris Associates LP, the biggest investor with a 7.5 percent stake, earlier this week rejected the bid.

I think that Mizuho Financial (NYSE:MFG) could play a major role in what ultimately happens. My speculation centers on Mizuho making a takeover bid itself. According to the linked Bloomberg article, it might be as "simple" (and I use that word advisedly) as how Mizuho votes its Nikko stake:

Citigroup's bid may hinge on winning the support of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., which holds 4.8 percent of Nikko and is seeking an investment banking alliance with the New York-based bank. Mizuho can determine whether or not Citigroup succeeds with its offer,'' said Makoto Haga, who helps oversee 40 billion yen at STB Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. "It may become a deciding vote.''

It's only been a couple of days since Citigroup announced its offer. Things are beginning to feel a bit more fluid. I'm looking forward to seeing if anything develops in the next few days.