OSAKA (Kyodo) An investment fund led by financier Yoshiaki Murakami has said it will send a written response by Wednesday to Hanshin Electric Railway Co. explaining why it is seeking a majority on its board of directors.

The Murakami fund, the largest shareholder of the Osaka-based railway operator, said Hanshin sent a letter Saturday asking for an explanation.

The fund called on Hanshin last Tuesday to accept its recommendations for nine new board members, including Murakami himself.

The Hanshin board currently consists of 16 members, nine of whom are up for re-election at a general shareholders’ meeting scheduled for June 29.

According to informed sources, Hanshin asked the fund in its letter to explain why it is now seeking majority control of the board. The fund earlier said it had acquired a large equity stake in Hanshin for “pure investment purposes.”

It currently holds a roughly 45 percent stake in Hanshin.

In a statement late Saturday, the fund pointed to a recent development in which Hanshin has sought management integration under a holding company with Hankyu Holdings Inc., which operates another railway in the Kansai region.

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