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Business deals

Japanese brokerages shed aversion to hostile takeover bids

Small player Mita makes waves as bigger rivals also begin to offer services

Mita Securities, with a workforce of less than 100, has become a key player on Japan's M&A battlefield.

TOKYO -- Japanese securities houses are breaking a taboo over involvement in hostile takeover bids, as companies and investors become more aggressive about making unsolicited acquisitions to maximize corporate value.

Tender offers are a common tool in hostile bids. For prospective acquirers, having a brokerage on their side can make a significant difference, since a securities account is needed for shareholders who agree to sell their holdings. Playing this role, however, tends to create ill will from the target company toward the brokerage. So, traditionally, most Japanese securities houses prefer to keep their distance.

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