US hedge fund Steel Partners is to press ahead with its pursuit for Japan’s Bull-Dog Sauce, it said this morning (8 August).

Steel Partners has decided to slash its bid for Bull-Dog, the iconic Japanese sauce manufacturer, after Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that the company could enact a “poison pill” defence against the hostile takeover.

The court yesterday (7 August) dismissed Steel Partners’ bid to block Bull-Dog’s move, which has allowed all existing shareholders – except the US hedge fund – to buy more share in the company. The strategy is designed to dilute Steel Partners’ holding in Bull-Dog, which had stood at 10.52%.

This morning, Steel Partners said it would slash its bid from JPY1,700 a share to JPY425 a share.

However, Steel Partners faces a near-impossible task in acquiring Bull-Dog, which has fought hard to resist the fund’s advances. Bull-Dog’s move will slash Steel Partners’ holding to less than 3%, while the majority of the company’s shareholders backed its “poison pill” strategy in June.

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Next week, Bull-Dog is expected to post an annual loss of some JPY980m (US$8.2m) due to costs related to its “poison pill” defence.