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FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yoshimatsu Futata, founder and now adviser to Futata Co., said Friday it is desirable that the firm become a wholly owned subsidiary of Aoki Holdings Inc., which made a tender offer earlier this week.

Futata, the father of the current company president, Takafumi, however, added it is possible the Fukuoka-based men’s clothing company would choose Konaka Co. over Aoki, Japan’s second-largest menswear chain, to integrate operations.

Konaka, the fourth-largest menswear chain and the leading shareholder in Futata, opposes Aoki’s takeover proposal announced Monday.

Aoki has said it will go ahead with a tender offer for Futata shares if Futata agrees. Both Aoki and Konaka are based in Yokohama and operate outlets nationwide.

Concerning the possibility of Futata becoming a wholly owned Aoki unit, the founder said: “That would be a better option when you consider the future of the company and its employees. I wouldn’t mind if the company loses the family name Futata as a result.”

The founding family, which owns about a 40 percent stake, will likely swap shares with Aoki, Futata said.

Citing the reason Futata is considering accepting control by Aoki, the founder said, “Our company is not making productive enough use of the shareholders’ equity to generate profit.”

In regard to the tieup between Futata and Konaka, he said the partnership is delivering results but is unlikely to continue improving constantly.

“That’s why (a possible takeover by Aoki) becomes an issue,” Yoshimatsu Futata said.

Aoki’s takeover proposal includes a tender offer to buy Futata shares for 700 yen each.

Konaka, which owns a stake of some 20 percent in Futata, has urged Futata to turn down the proposal.

Konaka and Futata, listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange’s second section, formed business and capital alliances in 2003.

Kenji Nakamura, executive managing director of Aoki, has said that even if Konaka does not respond to the tender offer, Aoki will try to acquire Futata via a stock swap.

Nakamura said whether Aoki proceeds with the tender offer “depends on Futata’s response. Konaka’s intentions do not matter.”

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