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.


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.