An investment fund led by financier Yoshiaki Murakami said Tuesday it has asked the Tokyo Stock Exchange to instruct Hanshin Electric Railway Co. and Hankyu Holdings Inc. to expedite disclosure of information on their merger talks.
In a statement sent to the TSE, Murakami’s fund said information on moves at the two rival railway operators to integrate their management was first been reported by the media and then published for the public. Such news reports started with a newspaper article April 13.
The fund, the top Hanshin shareholder with a stake of some 45 percent, accused the two firms of damaging the interests of shareholders, saying the media reports induced “wild fluctuations in Hanshin’s share prices.”
The fund has also sent a letter to Hanshin President Kyoji Nishikawa to push for information disclosure.
In the statement to the TSE, the fund said Hanshin should provide shareholders with specific numerical data on such points as the envisioned merger ratio and the planned price at which Hankyu might make a tender offer for Hanshin shares.
“Although we have repeatedly requested that Hanshin provide explanations including numbers relating to the planned management integration, no explanation has been provided to our company,” the fund said.
It asked the TSE to instruct the two companies to quickly disclose relevant data. “We have always obliged listed companies to disclose information in an appropriate manner, although we cannot comment on allegations on specific cases,” a TSE official said.
Negotiations between the fund and Hankyu Holdings over requests that the fund sell its Hanshin shareholdings to Hankyu have been stalemated over a desirable price level at which the fund might unload the holdings.
Hankyu is seeking to buy the Murakami fund’s stake for around 800 yen per share, while the fund is apparently seeking more than 1,000 yen.