Steel Partners today (18 April) confirmed that it has sold its stake in Japanese sauce maker Bull-Dog Co, a move that will draw a line under its attempt to seize control of the company.

A representative for the New York-based hedge fund confirmed to just-food that it sold its shares in the Japanese food group, but declined to comment further as the fund “does not comment on individual investments”. 

The fund held about 4.4% of Bull-Dog’s outstanding shares as of last November.

In May last year, Steel Partners launched a hostile takeover bid for Bull-Dog. 

However, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that Bull-Dog could implement takeover defenses. The company was then free to issue additional share capital – a “poison pill” that diluted Steel Partners’ holdings in the company and blocked the takeover bid.

Steel Partners, meanwhile, has targeted other Japanese food companies – including Nissin Foods and candy maker Ezaki Glico – that it believes can be pressured into improving their trading performance and increasing returns to shareholders.