* Seibu reinstates hotel industry veteran Stan Brown
* Expanded role for Randy Evans in property and railway
* Moves highlight thaw in relations ahead of possible Seibu
TOKYO, Feb 6 Japan's Seibu Holdings said on
Thursday it would rehire a senior executive recommended by
Cerberus Capital Management LP and expand the role of
another in a sign the railway and hotel group is seeking to
improve relations with its top shareholder ahead of a planned
Prince Hotels and Resorts, a core Seibu division and one of
Japan's largest hotel chains, said in a statement that Stan
Brown, 54, would become its director and executive vice
president starting on Friday.
Seibu also said that Randy Evans would become a director and
vice president of Seibu Properties Inc, which oversees a vast
portfolio of commercial and residential real estate, effective
Friday. Evans, 66, will remain a director of the railway
division, a post assumed with Cerberus' recommendation in 2012.
Brown had been effectively ousted last year when Seibu did
not put him up for reelection as director of the hotel 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 and the expansion of Evans's role are
the latest signals 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 sides had been locked in a bitter public feud during
most of 2013 over when to list its stock and at what price.
While Seibu has been eager to go public 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's 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