Shareholder revolts fails to unseat top brass at K Line

Shareholder revolts fails to unseat top brass at K Line

Top management at Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) can breathe easier tonight having fought off a shareholder rebellion.

A number of K Line shareholders led by Effissimo Capital Management had been pushing to get the chairman and president removed at Japan’s third largest shipping line at today’s annual shareholder meeting, claiming that the company was failing to make decent profits.

However, the board got its way at today’s vote, although investors reacted with some disappointment, K Line’s share price falling 4.5% in trading in Tokyo today.

The revolt had prompted K Line to send a letter to shareholders a couple of weeks ago defending Jiro Asakura as chairman and Eizo Murakami as president and CEO.

With more than 500 ships equating to 40m dwt K Line is among the world’s largest owners.

Effissimo Capital Management, established in Singapore by ex-colleagues of activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami, has become the top shareholder in the line as well as in other well known Japanese brands such as office equipment maker Ricoh. Its strategy has been to target Japanese firms it deems undervalued.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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