A Japan-based international beverage company was entering one of Japan’s most high-profile proxy fights. The activist primarily sought two board seats, changes to executive compensation, share buyback of JPY600 bn (US$5.6 bn) and to force the company to divest all non-core assets. Despite its limited experience as an activist, the shareholder waged a sophisticated campaign, leveraging media relationships to secure favorable coverage, launching a polished campaign website, and deploying a concerted behind-the-scenes shareholder lobbying effort.
STRATEGY & EXECUTION
Ahead of the company annual shareholder meeting, Edelman teams in New York, London, and Tokyo were brought onboard to advise on the development and execution of an end-to-end issues management and communications response. Within a few weeks, Edelman provided strategic counsel aimed at securing both domestic and international shareholder support; drove content creation, including a fight deck and shareholder letters; and engaged influential financial and trade media on three continents to support the client’s position.
Following a high-stake, high-profile campaign, this response enabled the mitigation of the activist investor’s claims while ensuring an evolved structure of the board, fully aligned to the company’s strategy and objectives.