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Bull-Dog Sauce Co. said Friday all of its employees had signed a document expressing objections to an unsolicited takeover bid by its top shareholder, U.S. investment fund Steel Partners, led by financier Warren Lichtenstein.

The document, signed by the 250 employees, says a takeover by the fund “would seriously undercut the trustful relationship we have built up for years with our customers as well as that between employees and the management.”

Earlier in the day, the company said it had asked a court to appoint an “examiner” to ensure that procedures at its June 24 shareholders’ meeting are correctly followed when a vote is taken on whether to adopt antitakeover measures aimed at repelling the Steel Partners bid.

“Our company has asked the Tokyo District Court to appoint an examiner under Article 308 of the Corporate Law to investigate procedures we have taken to convene this shareholders’ meeting as well as methods the shareholders will use to pass resolutions,” Bull-Dog Sauce said in a statement.

The petition was made “to ensure that no one can accuse our firm of breaking laws regarding the procedures and vote-taking methods,” it said.

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