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First hostile takeover of Japan restaurant chain no reason to cheer

Weak links in shareholder protections being exploited to buy smaller targets

| Japan
The entrance of Ootoya in Tokyo, pictured on Sep. 8: the gambit would not be possible in jurisdictions like the U.S. that are more protective of general shareholders.   © Reuters

Stephen Givens is a corporate lawyer based in Tokyo.

Restaurant chain operator Colowide's successful tender offer earlier this month for effective control of its smaller rival Ootoya Holdings -- despite bitter opposition by Ootoya management -- brings Japan one step closer to the establishment of an effective takeover market.

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