Activist fund claims small legal win against Japan Asia Group

TOKYO, April 2 (Reuters) - Veteran activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami claimed a small legal victory in his fund’s bid to buy Japan Asia Group (JAG) as a Japanese court blocked the energy and environmental services firm from issuing new shares to defend against a takeover.

JAG said it was disappointed by the Tokyo District Court’s ruling on Friday and was considering an appeal.

Murakami’s fund City Index Eleventh began building a stake in JAG while Carlyle Group teamed up with JAG chairman and CEO Tetsuo Yamashita on a management buyout in November. Carlyle withdrew its bid in February.

Murakami is one of Japan’s few, well-known activist shareholders. His typical strategy includes building up a stake in a company in the middle of a takeover and demanding that management boost its sale price. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)