ValueAct Capital Takes Olympus Stake ~ market folly

Thursday, May 31, 2018

ValueAct Capital Takes Olympus Stake

Jeff Ubben's activist investment firm ValueAct Capital has disclosed a 5% ownership stake in Japanese camera and medical device company Olympus (TYO:7733).  Their stake is valued at around $600 million and is a brand new position.  Their core position size seems to be around $1 billion these days, so this is a bit below that.

As far as we're aware, this is firm's first activist bet in Asia.  ValueAct issued a statement, saying, "Olympus has an exceptional business model, market share, technology leadership and emerging markets presence in the global medical device industry.  We think it's an ideal company for our first investment in Japan."

Activism in Japan seems to slowly becoming more acceptable.  Changes in corporate governance in the country have helped that progress.  A few years ago we highlighted Third Point's activist position in Sony and they had also previously invested in Seven & i.

You can view more ValueAct portfolio activity here.

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