US investment fund Steel Partners has failed in its JPY32.3bn (US$278m) bid to win control of the Japanese condiments group Bull-Dog Sauce Co. after only winning acceptances for 1.89% of the company’s stock by the close of its tender offer.

Steel Partners said it would buy all those shares, which would bring its stake in the company to around 4.44%.

The fund said in a statement that it planned scrutinise Bull-Dog’s business plan and the capital it has spent on anti-takeover measures.

The fund, which has made several attempts to acquire Bull-Dog since 2003, launched its latest takeover bid in May, and it soon became an acrimonious affair.

Earlier this month, Steel Partners decided to slash its bid for Bull-Dog from JPY1,700 a share to JPY425 a share after Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that the company could enact a “poison pill” defence against the hostile takeover.