Trading house Itochu Corp. said Friday it has increased its stake in major sportswear-maker Descente Ltd. to 40 percent, succeeding in what, for Japan, was a rare hostile takeover bid.

The two firms with over 50 years of business ties were drawn into a takeover battle last month when Descente opposed the tender offer by its top shareholder Itochu to raise the company's equity stake from around 30 percent to up to 40 percent, a level giving the trading house veto power over crucial management decisions.

Unlike in the United States and Europe, hostile takeovers are unusual in Japan and rarely successful. A hostile takeover, as opposed to a friendly one based on a mutual agreement to deepen ties, is accomplished without the consent or cooperation of the target company's management.