TIMELINE: Tracking the developments of Star Asia’s controversial bid for Sakura Sogo

 

Amid Japan’s typically amicable REIT culture, Star Asia Group’s takeover proposal for Sakura Sogo on May 10 was an unexpected move. For the first time, a provision in the J-REIT legislation that allows a unitholder that has at least a 3% holding for a minimum of six months to table a proposal and call for an extraordinary meeting has been evoked.

Star Asia Group has a 3.6% stake in Sakura Sogo REIT through its affiliate Lion Partners GK. Also for the first time, a J-REIT regulation called Minashi in Japan, by which non-votes are counted as “yes” votes, will be tested on August 30, when Sakura Sogo’s unitholders will vote on Star Asia Group’s bid.

For our interview with Star Asia Group, click here: Star Asia Taps Japan’s REIT Rule For First Time In Sakura Sogo Bid

For our interview with Sakura Sogo, click here: Sakura Sogo: Approach taken by Star Asia creates dangerous precedents for the J-REIT sector

For our story on fund managers’ views, click here: Star Asia’s Proposed Bid For Sakura Sogo Challenges Japan-REIT Regulations

In numbers:

Sakura Sogo has JPY56.1 billion (US$518.9 million) of assets under management

Mirai Corporation has JPY154.1 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) of assets under management

Star Asia Investment Corporation (SAIC), a J-REIT affiliated with Star Asia Group, has JPY 102.3 billion (US$952 million) of assets under management.

 

Timeline

August 30 Star Asia Group to host Sakura Sogo unitholders’ meeting in the morning. In the afternoon Sakura Sogo unitholders will meet to decide on a merger with Mirai Corporation.
August 7 Star Asia Group announces detailed proposal for merger between Sakura Sogo REIT And Star Asia Investment Corporation.
August 2 Star Asia Group announced its withdrawal of their petitionseeking for injuction of illegal acts conduced by the Executive Director of Sakura Sogo REIT (SSR). This is after they have reached an agreement with SSR’s Executive Director in a meeting.
July 19 Mirai Corporation and Sakura Sogo signed a Memorandum of Understandingsetting key principles for the merger.
July 17 Lion Partners announced plans to buy additional Sakura Sogo REIT units
July 4 Sakura’s asset management company said in talks with Mitsui Bussan & IDERA Partners, Mirai Corporation’s asset manager, on the feasibility of a merger between Sakura and Mirai.
June 28 Star Asia Group receives approval to hold unitholders’ meeting of Sakura Sogo REIT.
May 23 Sakura Sogo issues rebuttal to Star Asia’s merger proposal, saying the bid creates a dangerous precedent and threatens the value of Sakura unitholders’ investment and the stability of the entire J-REIT sector
May 17 Sakara Sogo issues statement to warn unitholders about Star Asia’s bid.
May 16 Star Asia Group applies for permission to hold Sakura Sogo REIT unitholders’ meeting.
May 14 Sakura Sogo met with Sugihara upon the request of Lion Partners, but merger terms were not mentioned.

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