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Kirin activist admits 'ambitious' target for crunch investor meeting

Shareholder opposes Japanese brewer's diversification and wants independent directors

Independent Franchise Partners admits that what it is trying to pull off with Kirin "has never happened to a Nikkei 225 company." (Nikkei montage)

TOKYO -- The activist investor mounting a challenge to the management of Japanese drinks group Kirin Holdings has acknowledged it has an "ambitious" task to win enough backing from other shareholders.

But in an interview Hassan Elmasry, the CEO of Independent Franchise Partners (FP), said other investors had "a lot of sympathy" with its demands and said Kirin would receive "a very clear signal" of hostility to some of its strategy at its annual general meeting this month.

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