NEW YORK & TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fir Tree Partners (“Fir Tree”), manager of certain funds that reported collective beneficial ownership of approximately 6.1% of the outstanding shares of Kyushu Railway Company (“JR Kyushu” or the “Company”) (TSE ticker 9142), today commented on the voting results from JR Kyushu’s Annual Meeting.
Aaron Stern, Managing Director and Partner at Fir Tree issued the following statement:
“We would like to thank our fellow shareholders who supported us both publicly and in their votes at the Annual Meeting. Our public engagement has already driven positive changes at JR Kyushu and has helped lay the foundation for the Company’s long-term success. Specifically, as a direct result of our proposals, the Company has adopted a performance-based stock compensation plan, put forth its own independent director nominees, established a Nomination and Compensation Advisory Committee (with six outside directors), and increased the dividend.
Additionally, while the final voting breakdown is not yet public, our understanding is that many shareholders voted in favor of our share repurchase proposal. According to the principles of the Japanese Corporate Governance Code, companies should give strong weight to any shareholder proposals that receive significant minority support. It is our hope that management, along with the new Board, considers this proposal and ultimately adopts a share repurchase program.
We look forward to continuing to engage with JR Kyushu’s Board and management team as we remain significant investors in the Company over the long term. JR Kyushu is a strong company with a proven track record. Its experienced management team has demonstrated a turnaround of the rail operations and has built a phenomenal real estate business. We will continue our efforts to help JR Kyushu achieve its full potential.”
About Fir Tree Partners
Fir Tree Partners, founded in 1994 and located in New York City (HQ) and Miami, is a value-oriented investment manager that invests on behalf of endowments, charitable and philanthropic foundations, pension funds and other institutional and private investors. The firm has successfully applied its opportunistic approach across a wide array of asset classes, industries and geographies, including in Japan where it has been actively investing for nearly a decade. Fir Tree Partners has adopted Japan’s Stewardship Code.
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