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January 28, 2011 / Richard Smart

Ichihashi, Lindsay Ann Hawker and the battle for Gentosha

Beyond the questions of legal right, free speech and ethical questions that followed the story of the publication of the book, ‘A record of my two year seven month void before arrest,’ there is another issue that has so far not been reported: the battle for the ownership of Gentosha Inc.

Gentosha published the book by Tatsuya Ishihashi, which document his time on the run after being accused of killing British citizen Lindsay Ann Hawker, and is currently trying to fend off interference in a management buyout from a company based in the British Cayman Islands.

As the Asahi Shimbun explained in December:

A major battle is brewing between a foreign investment fund and a major Japanese publisher amid growing overseas interest in what experts describe as undervalued Japanese stocks.

Isabel Ltd., based in the Cayman Islands, has been aggressively buying shares of Gentosha Inc., threatening to derail the publisher’s plan to undertake a management buyout (MBO).

Gentosha’s stock price offer for the MBO was apparently below the actual value perceived by Isabel.

Kyodo reports:

Isabel Ltd., based in the British Cayman Islands, said in (a report sent to the Kanto Local Finance Bureau on Jan. 24)  that it holds 28.58% of outstanding shares of Gentosha, equivalent to a stake of 37.48% in terms of voting rights, allowing the fund to veto key proposals at the publisher’s general meetings, such as amending its articles of incorporation.

Whether the release of the Ichihashi memoirs will deter the Cayman company from interfering in the management buyout remains to be seen. As do the motivations for publishing Ichihashi’s book.

* article written in full from RSS sources.

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