TOKYO, July 17 (Reuters) - Japanese restaurant chain Ootoya
Holdings said it would oppose a tender offer by its top
shareholder, Colowide Co, turning the bid into the
country's latest hostile deal.
In an emailed statement, Ootoya said it would announce later
on Friday that a group of employees are against the takeover,
followed by a formal decision on Monday by the board of
directors to oppose the bid.
Colowide had said last week it would launch the bid to boost
its stake to 51.32% from 19.16% as it seeks to expand through
acquisitions. Japanese companies are increasingly seeking more
control of affiliates to streamline operations.
Ootoya immediately criticised the offer, saying it came as a
surprise given that Colowide knew the majority of shareholders
opposed such a move. The bid also followed
Colowide's failed attempt to install candidates to Ootoya's
board - a proposal rejected at the annual shareholders' meeting
Colowide, which runs a variety of restaurants from izakayas
to sushi chains, has offered 3,081 yen a share. Ootoya shares
closed at 2,860 yen on Thursday.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita
Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)