Unison Capital Buying Japanese Wig Maker

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The board of Japanese wig maker Aderans Holdings Co Ltd (8170.T) will approve a tender offer for at least 33.4 percent of its shares by Unison Capital Inc at a meeting on Thursday, the financial daily Nikkei said in its Thursday edition.

The paper said Aderans hopes to ward off demands for management change from activist U.S. investment fund Steel Partners, which owns about 27 percent of Aderans. It said Aderans will also approve new executive appointments — including three managers designated by Unison — and steps designed to restructure what Nikkei called “lackluster mainstay operations.”

The executive appointments would be subject to approval by shareholders at a meeting scheduled for May 28.

At last May’s general shareholders’ meeting, opposition by Steel Partners and other shareholders caused the rejection of Aderans’ proposed executive appointments. Steel Partners has proposed its own slate of directors for this May’s meeting.

Nikkei said the tender would be at about 1,000 yen ($10.07) per share, or about 30 percent above Aderans’ average share price for the past three months, and Unison would spend at least 14 billion yen buying the shares.

“Steel Partners is certain to object to the tender offer, which could spur a proxy fight ahead of the shareholders meeting,” Nikkei said. ($1=99.2664 yen) (Reporting by Gerald E. McCormick)