Toshiba’s spin-off plan had support of 40% of shareholders

Reuters file photo
The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen at the company’s facility in Kawasaki, Japan February 13, 2017.

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp’s plan to spin off its devices unit had a shareholder support rate of 39.53%, while a separate call backed by activist shareholders to seek buyout offers garnered 44.60% support, a breakdown of the vote showed.

Shareholders voted down the competing proposals at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, leaving the direction of the Japanese conglomerate uncertain. Each proposal needed 50% of the vote to pass.

For the management-backed spin-off plan, nearly 60% of votes cast were against. Opposition to the plan had been widespread, including from Toshiba’s three biggest shareholders as well as proxy shareholder advisory firms.

About 55% of votes were cast against the competing proposal from Singapore-based 3D Investment Partner – Toshiba’s second-biggest shareholder after Effissimo Capital Management – which called for the conglomerate to solicit private equity buyout offers or minority investment.

The proposal from 3D, which owns over 7% of Toshiba, had the backing of other activist shareholders. Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) had advised against it.