January 21, 2019 / 3:04 AM / 3 months ago

Japan's LIXIL denies report it considered MBO, move to Singapore

TOKYO (Reuters) - LIXIL Group Corp on Monday denied a report it had considered delisting from Japan through a management buyout (MBO) and moving its headquarters to Singapore, but investors welcomed the report anyway, sending the stock up 7 percent.

The Nikkei Business reported on Monday that LIXIL’s board decided last year to consider the plan, which had been opposed by former President and Chief Executive Kinya Seto, who abruptly resigned in late October.

LIXIL, which makes housing products such as toilets and windows, is now headed by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yoichiro Ushioda, who hails from the founding family.

“LIXIL Group confirms that there has been no such agreement nor consideration made by the board of directors and that this (report) is not factual,” LIXIL said in a statement.

Shares in LIXIL were up 7 percent at 10:21 a.m. (0121 GMT) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after trading was suspended for about an hour pending the company’s statement.

A delisting in favour of an overseas bourse would be a rare move by a Japanese company.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates and Christopher Cushing

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