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November 16, 2006

Hedge Fund Attemps Hostile Takeover of Ramen Noodle Maker

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/16/2006 02:15:00 AM
I had to post this because it is so hilarious, proving there is no shortage of creativity in the hedge fund world. Steel Partners is attempting a hostile takeover of Myojo Foods Co., Ltd. (JP 2900), a maker of ramen noodles based in Japan. Myojo rebuffed the takeover by partnering up with Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd. (JP 2897), the inventor of ramen noodles. Meanwhile, Steel Partners has quietly amassed a 23.1% stake in Myojo. (FYI, in addition to ramen noodles, Steel Partners also has a penchant for porno - it owns 3 million shares of New Frontier Media (Nasdaq NOOF), a leading company in the space.)

Myojo Foods Company Limited was founded and established in Japan in 1950. For the past 55 years, Myojo has been involved in the manufacturing of instant noodles, continuing striving for better taste, quality and service. To date, there are 6 factories, over 20 sales branches and affiliated company throughout Japan. Myojo offers many different flavors of ramen
  • Myojo Chicken Tanmen
  • Myojo Onion Chicken
  • Myojo Hot Pepper
  • Myojo Chicken Abalone
  • Myojo Shrimp Tanmen
  • Myojo Vegetarian
Nissin has an interesting history. Nissin founder Momofuku Ando in 1958 brought the world the instant noodle by inventing chicken ramen for post World War II Japan. His idea was inspired by the view of a long line at a black-market food stall as people waited in winter cold for freshly made ramen. Nissin is famous for selling Cup Noodles. Nissin has expanded it Cup Noodles beyond Chicken Noodle and Beef Noodle. New flavors targeting the US market include:
  • Spicy Chile Chicken
  • Salsa Picante Beef
  • Salsa Picante Chicken
  • Salsa Picante
  • Shrimp Jalpeno
The business, however, relies on relatively young consumers, in short supply among Japan’s aging population. Companies like Nissin and Myojo are therefore being forced to tap overseas markets.

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