Steel Sells Sauce Maker Stock After Court Defeat

Nov 28 2007 | 7:38am ET

Defeated in its bid to take over the Japanese condiment maker, activist hedge fund Steel Partners has begun to sell its reduced stake in Bull-Dog Sauce.

In Japanese regulatory filings, the New York-based hedge fund revealed that it has cut its stake in the Worcestershire sauce maker from 5.42% to 4.4% since August, when the Japanese Supreme Court rejected its bid to prevent Bull-Dog from implementing its poison pill provision. That move diluted Steel’s stake in the sauce maker from 10.52%, though it forced Bull-Dog to pay the hedge fund ¥2.1 billion (US$19.4 million) and sent the company to a ¥1.9 billion (US$17.6 million) loss in the six months through September.

But Steel is not giving up on activism in Japan, despite its defeat and the more recent setback suffered by Britain’s Silchester International Investors in its bid to stop a Japanese auto parts retailer from issuing new convertible bonds.

The firm is also trying to raise its stake in Japanese brewer Sapporo Holdings from 17.5% to 66%, and is the largest shareholder of frozen food maker Katokichi.


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