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Business

Panasonic's buyout of PanaHome protested by Hong Kong fund

Legal action threatened over valuation of unit's shares

A "sustainable smart town" built by PanaHome in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

OSAKA -- Panasonic's move to turn group member PanaHome into a wholly owned unit has been challenged by a Hong Kong hedge fund on the grounds that the deal undervalues shares in the homebuilder.

Oasis Management said it would take legal action if the valuation is not revised. It holds a roughly 5% stake in PanaHome, according to a large-shareholdings report filed with Tokyo financial authorities Wednesday.

Panasonic held a 54% stake as of last September. It announced in December an agreement to purchase the rest and make the unit a wholly owned subsidiary. PanaHome would delist from the Tokyo Stock Exchange this coming July 27, and each PanaHome share would be exchanged for 0.8 Panasonic share on Aug. 1.

Writing to PanaHome in September, Oasis said the homebuilder's stock price was undervalued and needed revising.

Panasonic consulted with advisers including legal counsel on the exchange agreement in November to avoid harming PanaHome minority shareholders.

(Nikkei)

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