Shareholders of Japanese industrial conglomerate Toshiba (TKS:JP:6502) voted against the re-appointment of chairman Osamu Nagayama to the board on Friday, two weeks after a report written by independent lawyers blamed the company for a campaign against foreign investors.
The report agreed with activist shareholders’ allegations that the Japanese government had worked together with Toshiba’s management to suppress foreign investors’ concerns about the group’s governance at the 2020 annual meeting.
Nagayama, 74, was appointed after the 2020 meeting but activists have contested another, parallel report, commissioned by management, that didn’t find any evidence of pressure on shareholders.
Toshiba chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa was reelected to the board on Friday. He took over in April after his predecessor resigned over a failed $20 billion bid by U.S. private equity group CVC to take over the company.
The outlook: The rare win for activist shareholders in Japan is likely to rekindle speculation that private equity funds are preparing competing bids to break up a group whose activities span from military equipment to elevators and from sewage systems to nuclear power plants.