TOKYO: U.S. hedge fund ValueAct Capital has become a major shareholder in Japanese chip and display materials maker JSR Corp with more than a 7per cent stake, as activist investors are increasingly targeting cash-rich Japanese companies.
ValueAct, with more than US$12 billion in assets under management, has acquired over 16.5 million shares of JSR, or worth around US$283 million at current share prices, the fund said in a statement.
The fund’s regulatory filing said it is buying the stake as an investment and to give management advice or make important proposals depending on circumstances.
JSR, established in 1957 as government-backed synthetic rubber maker, now supplies materials to global chip and display makers.
Its advanced photoresists, a key chip-making material, were one of the sensitive high-tech products subject to the tighter curbs that Japan implemented on exports to South Korea last year.
A spokeswoman at JSR said the company has been engaged in dialogue with the fund, but declined to comment of what had been discussed.
ValueAct made itself known in Japan with its investment in medical equipment maker Olympus Corp two years ago, successfully gaining a seat at the company’s board.
(US$1 = 107.55 yen)
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Alison Williams)
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