Lichtenstein's Steel Partners Wants More Japanese Companies

by: John Bethel

File this under interesting. As in it's interesting to see how much impact Warren Lichtenstein's Steel Partners has in boosting shareholder rights in Japan. Bloomberg reports on Lichenstein's first press briefing in Tokyo, where he says he will be buying "more and more" Japanese companies, believing them undervalued:

"After 15 years of recession, Japan is now waking to a completely different world,'' Lichtenstein said. "As long as we can find interesting opportunities to invest our capital to get good risk-adjusted returns, we will do it more and more.''

Steel Partners has made a series of failed takeover bids in Japan since 2003 and invested in more than 40 companies, including Sapporo Holdings Ltd., seeking management changes and higher dividends. While the fund has made money, acquisition attempts have been thwarted as Japanese firms turn to defenses including poison pills and friendly tie-ups.

Read the entire linked report if this interests you -- there's loads more stuff than I'm highlighting here. But this snippet near the end catches my attention:

Brandes Investment has taken stakes in more than 10 Japanese companies including consumer lenders Takefuji Corp., Acom Co Ltd. and Promise Co.

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