Itochu raises ownership in FamilyMart after controversial tender offer

Credit: REUTERS/TORU HANAI

Japanese trading house Itochu Corp said it increased its ownership of convenience store chain FamilyMart Co in a tender offer, despite criticism from activist investors who said it was not paying enough.

Adds details on tender offer result

TOKYO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Itochu Corp 8001.T said it increased its ownership of convenience store chain FamilyMart Co 8028.T in a tender offer, despite criticism from activist investors who said it was not paying enough.

In July, Itochu, which already owned 50.1% of the FamilyMart chain, announced a 581 billion yen ($5.48 billion), or 2,300 yen per share, tender offer for the rest of the shares.

The company said on Tuesday that it secured around 79 million additional shares, taking its stake to over 65%.

Itochu has said it wanted greater control of FamilyMart to speed up decision-making at the chain, which competes with 7-Eleven, part of retail giant Seven & i Holdings 3382.T, and Lawson Inc 2651.T, owned by rival trading house Mitsubishi Corp 8058.T.

FamilyMart had supported the offer with the caveat that shareholders should decide for themselves whether the offer price was adequate.

Activist fund Oasis Management had said that FamilyMart, by not demanding a higher price, had neglected minority shareholders and should pay a special dividend to compensate.

($1 = 106.0500 yen)

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

((Ritsuko.Ando@reuters.com; +81 3 6441 1743;))

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