New York-based hedge fund Steel Partners has issued a tender offer for all the outstanding shares in iconic Japanese sauce manufacturer Bull-Dog.

Steel Partners Japan Strategic Find, the Japanese investment arm of Steel Partners, has offered JPY1,584 (US$13.10) a share for Bull-Dog's common stock. This represents a 20% premium over the company's share price at close of trade on 14 May, before the fund signalled its interest.

Steel Partners already holds a 10.52% stake in the Japanese food group.

Issuing the offer, the private equity firm emphasised its desire to continue to work constructively with current management.

"We have no plans to get involved in the daily operations of the company. However, Steel Partners has deep experience investing in food-industry companies, both in Japan and globally, that we believe will benefit Bull-Dog Sauce," the fund said.

"As owners of the company, we would gladly share the experience we have gained to help Bull-Dog Sauce expand into new markets around the world and to grow its revenue. If necessary, we can also help the company gain access to capital and to improve its capital structure, capital allocation and cost structure."

Releasing its results for the fiscal ending 31 March, Bull-Dog posted revenues of JPY16.8bn, up from JPY14.7bn a year earlier. Net profit totalled JPY541m, up from JPY434m.

Following the announcement from Steel Partners, shares in Bull-Dog jumped 23.5% on the Tokyo stock exchange, rising to JPY1,650 at time of press.