The head of Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. on Sunday rapped the Tokyo High Court’s decision last week giving the green light to full-fledged merger talks between UFJ Holdings Inc. and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc.
Sumitomo Trust President Atsushi Takahashi said in a statement that the high court’s approval of the merger talks is “an excessive judicial intervention in economic activities and thus unacceptable.”
The high court on Wednesday reversed a lower court order that had effectively banned the ailing UFJ from including its trust business in talks with Mitsubishi Tokyo as it had earlier agreed to sell its trust unit, UFJ Trust Bank, to Sumitomo Trust.
Presiding Judge Kazuyoshi Harada said that because the UFJ-Sumitomo Trust relationship of mutual trust has been destroyed, neither side can continue with trust merger talks in a sincere manner.
Takahashi accused the high court of worrying about the outcome of a trust merger plan rather than examining the legitimacy of a previous contract between the UFJ and Sumitomo Trust.
He also indicated that the high court had a prejudgment that the lower court order should be reversed because UFJ is in trouble. His firm has already filed an appeal.
“A court should stick to a legal theory,” he said.
Takahashi expressed his intention to continue seeking the UFJ Trust buyout, saying, “We do not jump to the conclusion that the Supreme Court’s decision will be disadvantageous to us.”
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