March 12, 2020 / 11:38 AM / 20 days ago

Glass Lewis against call for Kirin buybacks, backs new board nominees

TOKYO, March 12 (Reuters) - Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recommended investors in Japan's Kirin Holdings vote for new directors nominated by an activist shareholder but advised against the shareholder's call on the company to repurchase shares.

British-based Independent Franchise Partners (IFP), which owns a 2% stake in Kirin, has called on it to shed investments in cosmetics and drugs and use the proceeds to buy treasury shares.

IFP has also offered to drop its demand provided KIRIN makes its board more independent by adding two independent directors.

Glass Lewis said it found issues with IFP's arguments about the buyback, but said Kirin would benefit from more independent oversight offered by the two directors nominated by IFP. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; editing by Jason Neely)

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