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PanaHome faces lawsuit as Panasonic plans full takeover

Hong Kong's Oasis says bid hurts minority interests

OSAKA -- A Hong Kong hedge fund has threatened to sue over a plan to make PanaHome a 100% owned subsidiary of parent Panasonic, saying the takeover harms the interests of minority shareholders, according to an investor in the Japanese developer.

A member of Oasis Management's legal team made the threat at PanaHome's annual shareholders meeting here Friday. The person lobbed questions at management for more than 30 minutes on a range of topics, including decisions made regarding a takeover bid that ran from the end of April through June 13 and raised Panasonic's stake in the unit from around 54% to 80% or so. Oasis itself may have responded to the bid: Its stake in PanaHome fell from 8.95% in mid-April to 3.4% as of June 13.

The unit is expected to become a fully owned Panasonic subsidiary at an extraordinary shareholders meeting to be held by late September. Discussion around that process stretched Friday's meeting to 1 hour and 48 minutes -- the longest in the past 20 years. Some expressed hope that the takeover would pave the way for more growth investment at PanaHome. But one man in his 70s complained he had little idea of the company's long-term vision.

A total of 122 people were present at the meeting, including retail investors that had already handed their stakes over to Panasonic. Shareholders approved the appointment of nine directors recommended by PanaHome.

(Nikkei)

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