Tuesday, July 24, 2007
TeamJapan: 3 - Carpetbaggers 1
Of all the recent activism in Japan, I [wrongly] would have thought that DaVinci's chances in wresting control of TOC from the Otani's were reaonsably attractive, given the NEW new nice price they were offering. Alas, the Otani's won, and aside from the forced sale of Myojo Foods to Nissin, the Carpetbaggers are looking the worse off for it. A Black-eye for Steel Partners, rebuffed twice recently, now left holding (yet again) another unmarketable position in a pedestrian (and illiquid) enterprise. TCI was "flipped the bird" by the management (and shareholders) of Electric Power Development, and as if to prove the point to those would-be disrupters of the wah of the house, Japan's spark of bloodsucking activism, Murakami, was just sentenced to several years in a comfortable Japanese prison for his transgressions.
All which speaks volumes for the Lichtenstein School of the Dan Loeb University of Investor Activism. Even though you too can learn to be An Activist (Mail away to me for your own Activist Kit today for only 5 easy payments of $99.95), it is likely that the ultimate form that increasing shareholder value will take in Japan will be wholly different in character and nature than acquiring a line of stock and writing management an insulting letter. Softly, softly indeed, will be the watchword for the successful, whilst vulgarity (both culturally and financially) will continued to be countered with derision and a sharp stick in the eye.