Steel Partners Reduces Stake in Sapporo Holdings

Retreating from Japanese equities, New York-based fund Steel Partners has cut its stake in brewer Sapporo Holdings, Reuters reported. The fund reduced its stake to 7.88%, from 13.14%, but remains the largest stakeholder in Sapporo.

(Reuters) – U.S. fund Steel Partners has reduced its stake in Sapporo Holdings (2501.T) by more than one-third, according to a public filing, as the investor continues to cut its holding in the brewer as part of a retreat from Japanese equities.

The fund, which has achieved mixed results with a diverse portfolio of more than 20 Japanese firms, remains the largest stakeholder in Sapporo despite the latest reduction, to 7.88 percent from 13.14 percent.

It held an 18.64 percent stake in the beer maker earlier this year, but sold a chunk of that in October after criticising the firm’s management.

Shares of Sapporo, which settled at 337 yen earlier on Thursday, have fallen 33.8 percent since the start of the year, underperforming a 2.5 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei .N225.

Steel Partners drew headlines when it toppled the board of the wig maker now known as Unihair Co (8170.T) and after its attempt to increase its stake in cooking sauce maker Bull-Dog Sauce (2804.T) was blocked by a Japanese court.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu; Writing by James Topham; Editing by Joseph Radford)