CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RMB Capital (“RMB”), a Chicago-based independent investment advisory firm, is a long-term shareholder of Faith Ltd. (4295 JP, “Faith”) and owns approximately 10.7% of the firm’s total outstanding shares.
RMB, as a responsible investor in Japan, has been engaging with the management of Faith to improve its corporate value. In 2018 and 2019, RMB filed shareholder proposals at Faith’s annual general shareholders’ meetings (AGMs) and demanded corporate governance improvement and shareholder return enhancement at the firm. As a result, Faith added independent directors and installed a nomination and compensation committee while implementing share buybacks twice.
RMB particularly appreciates the value of Nippon Columbia, Co., Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Faith and has an operation which RMB believes has solid profitability and growth potential on the back of its 110 years of history. RMB has been proposing that the management of Faith focus its management resources on the music and entertainment businesses at Nippon Columbia.
However, the management of Faith did not follow RMB’s proposals, but instead consistently burned capital on the venture businesses that do not see any clear path to profitability, resulting in slow earnings performance. The stock price of Faith has remained well below its intrinsic value, and the value of the net cash and the marketable securities that the firm holds exceeds 140% of its own market capitalization, which RMB believes is an irrationally high figure. Despite this situation, management of Faith has not taken any action to enhance shareholder returns since May 2019.
Given this background above, RMB recently made the following proposals to the management of Faith.
- Dividend increase (September 2020): Triple the dividend payout from current 10 yen per share (5 yen interim, 5 yen year-end) to 30 yen per share (15 yen interim, 15 yen year-end)
- Share buyback (November 2020): Buyback 10% of the total outstanding shares with up to 1.5 billion yen capacity
Throughout 2020, Faith has achieved earnings better than last year, even with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, RMB believes Faith has a potential to receive higher attention from Japan’s general equity investors, as Nippon Columbia’s famous composer Yuji Koseki and his music were featured in a popular and widely watched NHK network drama program this year. Under these circumstances, RMB believes the management of Faith can improve the value of the firm by mobilizing the unused pile of cash on its books, which RMB feels will result in compelling shareholder returns. RMB demands the board at Faith take these necessary actions to achieve this.
Please refer to Faith Activism for RMB’s past press releases on this topic.
About RMB Capital
Headquartered in Chicago, RMB Capital is an independent investment advisory firm that serves high-net-worth individuals and families as well as institutional investors. Its businesses include wealth management, family office services, asset management, and retirement plan consulting. Its asset management business specializes in long-term, concentrated, active investing strategies with coverage that spans the market-cap spectrum and the globe. To learn more about RMB, visit https://rmbcapital.com.