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Tokyo Kikai shareholders approve poison pill, setting up court battle

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October 23, 2021

By Makiko Yamazaki

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shareholders in Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho Ltd approved a “poison pill” measure on Friday aimed at blocking a takeover attempt by its top investor, setting up a court battle that will have sweeping implications for hostile bids in Japan.

Tokyo Kikai, a little known company that is the country’s largest maker of newspaper printing presses, said a majority of its shareholders approved a measure that would dilute Asia Development Capital’s (ADC) 40% stake.

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ADC was excluded https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/court-battle-raises-question-how-far-will-japan-swallow-poison-pills-2021-10-21 from the vote and has already sought an injunction to nullify it. Had investors voted on Friday against the poison pill it would have handed ADC a victory.

About 79% of the votes supported the poison pill, Tokyo Kikai said in a statement. ADC said Tokyo Kikai would have lost if ADC had not been excluded, as the number of votes cast for the poison pill were fewer than those ADC could have cast alone.

Now, focus will turn to the injunction and the Tokyo District Court ruling expected next week that will be the first to examine an attempt to exclude an investor from a shareholder vote on a poison pill.

A victory for Tokyo Kikai would potentially make it easier for other Japanese companies to use poison pills.

Tokyo Kikai has said ADC hurts its corporate value, while the fund argues that a ruling in Tokyo Kikai’s favour would fly in the face of shareholder equality.

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The battle highlights both a rise in hostile takeovers in Japan over the past few years and what some experts see as inadequate takeover rules that leave companies, especially small ones, with few defences against hostile bids.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki Editing by Edmund Blair, Mark Potter and Himani Sarkar)

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Canada’s Shopify records Black Friday sales up 21%

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November 27, 2021

(Reuters) – Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc recorded worldwide sales of nearly $2.9 billion on Black Friday, an increase of about 21% in comparison to last year, the company said Saturday.

New York, London and Los Angeles were among the top-selling cities, the company said, while apparel and accessories was the top-selling product category.

Shopify also said it funded 23,000+ tonnes of carbon removal to counteract emissions from the delivery of every order placed on its platform on Black Friday.

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(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Xiaomi to open car plant in Beijing with annual output of 300,000 vehicles – Beijing govt

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November 27, 2021

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp will build a plant that can produce 300,000 vehicles annually in Beijing for its electric vehicle unit, authorities in the capital said on Saturday.

The plant will be constructed in two phases and Xiaomi will also built its auto unit’s headquarters, sales and research offices in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, the government-backed economic development agency Beijing E-Town said on its official WeChat account.

Beijing E-Town said it anticipated the plant reaching mass production in 2024, a goal announced by Xiaomi’s Chief Executive Lei Jun in October.

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In March, Xiaomi said it would commit to investing $10 billion in a new electric car division over 10 years. The company completed the business registration of its EV unit in late August.

The company has been opening thousands of stores to spur domestic sales growth for its smartphone business but eventually intends to use these shops as a channel for its plans to sell electric vehicles.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by William Mallard)

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Eni sells Snam 49.9% stake in Algeria gas pipelines for 385 million euros

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November 27, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) -Italian energy group Eni has agreed to sell gas group Snam 49.9% of its stake in strategic pipelines carrying Algerian gas into Italy for 385 million euros ($436 million), the two companies said on Saturday.

The pipelines will be jointly controlled by the two companies, they said in a joint statement.

Italy imports more than 90% of its overall gas needs and Algerian gas currently accounts for around 30% of flows.

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“This transaction allows us to free up new resources to be used on our energy transition path,” Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said.

Eni is working on spinning off a series of oil and gas operations into new joint ventures to help reduce debt and fund its shift to low-carbon energy.

Snam, which owns a 20% stake in the TAP pipeline that carries Azeri gas into Italy, makes most of its money from managing Italy’s gas transport grid.

It has pledged to spend more on new green business lines such as hydrogen and, like other gas grid operators in Europe, is upgrading its gas network to be hydrogen ready.

“In the future, North Africa could also become a hub for producing solar energy and green hydrogen,” Snam CEO Marco Alvera said.

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The pipeline companies involved in the deal posted net income of around 90 million euros in 2020.

($1 = 0.8836 euros)

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Giselda Vagnoni)

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