TOKYO Feb 6 Japan's Seibu Holdings said on
Thursday it would reinstate a senior executive recommended by
Cerberus Capital Management LP in a sign the railway
and hotel group is seeking to improve relations with its top
shareholder ahead of a planned IPO.
Prince Hotels and Resorts said in a statement that Stan
Brown, 54, would become its director and executive vice
president starting on Friday. The company manages a network of
hotels and is one of the Seibu group's core divisions.
Brown had been effectively ousted last year when Seibu did
not put him up for reelection as director of the division. The
former Marriott International Inc executive was also on
the Cerberus slate of directors rejected by Seibu Holdings
shareholders in June.
The rehiring of Brown is the latest signal that Seibu is
looking to work more closely with Cerberus in a bid to improve
its operational performance ahead of a possible relisting of its
shares later this year.
The two had been locked in a bitter public feud for most of
2013 that centred on when it would go public and at what price.
While Seibu has been eager to relist quickly to fulfil a
pledge to give all its shareholders a liquid marketplace to sell
their stock, Cerberus has pushed for governance and strategic
changes to maximize the IPO price.
Seibu applied to list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange
in January, sources have told Reuters. The offering could be
worth more than $1 billion, making it one of Japan's biggest in
While Seibu does not technically need Cerberus' blessing to
press on with an IPO, a lack of cooperation would likely make
the offering difficult since the U.S. fund holds by far the
largest block of stock with a stake of 35.48 percent.
The thawing in relations is the result of talks between
Seibu President Takashi Goto and Cerberus founder Stephen
Feinberg over the last month or so, people familiar with their
discussions have said.
Seibu was delisted in 2004 in the wake of a disclosure
scandal and Cerberus led its bailout with a $1 billion-plus