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Business deals

Itochu purchase marks Japanese hostile-takeover milestone

Trading house amasses 40% stake in sportswear company Descente

Itochu has criticized Descente for not expanding its Chinese business fast enough to capitalize on the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

TOKYO -- Trading conglomerate Itochu appears to have acquired enough shares in sportswear maker Descente to complete what is seen as the first successful hostile takeover between major Japanese companies.

Itochu looks to have secured the 40% target stake in Descente -- up from about 30% -- as of Thursday's closing date for the tender offer. The trading company offered a 50% premium over Descente stock's Jan. 30 closing price, more than the typical 20% to 30%. It drew a response of nearly twice the shares sought, a knowledgeable source said. An announcement is expected Friday.

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