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Unbidden Foreign Takeover Succeeds in Japan, Seven Years Later

  • Chiyoda Ute undergoing squeeze-out after takeover bid
  • Knauf spent seven years planning purchase of company
A Knauf production facility. 

A Knauf production facility. 

Photographer: Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

By most measures, a takeover bid for a publicly listed drywall maker shouldn’t be a monumental event. 

Yet the successful acquisition of Chiyoda Ute Co. by Knauf International GmbH might offer a few lessons into how such deals can be pulled off in a country with a reputation for being hostile to uninvited takeovers. After steadily acquiring 93% of the company, closely held Knauf is squeezing out remaining shareholders and will soon gain full control of Japan’s second-largest maker of walls found inside of homes and offices.