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Hong Kong activist investor calls on Tokyo Dome to dump chief

Oasis fund also seeks to fire two other directors, citing lack of progress on reform

Oasis Management says the Tokyo Dome is ripe for major overhauls in operating management.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A Hong Kong hedge fund is campaigning to replace top leaders at the Tokyo Dome stadium's operator, citing inefficiency and unresponsiveness.

Oasis Management has submitted a request for Tokyo Dome Corp. to convene an extraordinary shareholders meeting to vote on the ouster of President Tsutomu Nagaoka, the Japanese company said Monday. External directors Nobuhiro Mori and Tomofumi Akiyama are also targeted for replacement.

Tokyo Dome Corp. said it will promptly reveal its next step after closely reviewing the demands.

"We are greatly perplexed by the sudden, one-sided proposal we have received," it said.

Oasis owns a 9.61% stake, securities filings from late January show, making it a leading shareholder.

The hedge fund's five proposals for "a better Tokyo Dome" include improving operations at the stadium and a nearby hotel. But the Japanese company's management has repeatedly stonewalled attempts at communication, according to Oasis.

Tokyo Dome Corp. hotly disputed that claim, saying Monday that it has been "diligent" in efforts to respond. It recounted offering this month to speak to Oasis on a suggested timetable and said the schedule was still being finalized when the hedge fund made its latest move.

The stadium operator also detailed July 20 a slew of initiatives to renovate the facility, home to the Yomiuri Giants professional baseball team, with digital signage and other improvements.

The plan "took Oasis' proposals into consideration," according to an insider at the Japanese company.

Oasis scored a victory this year in a Japanese boardroom battle with Suncorp., whose offerings include devices to extract data from mobile phones. At an extraordinary shareholders meeting in April, the hedge fund won support for removing four directors and installing five candidates.

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